Ear-like tufts and yellow-eyed stares are not the only characteristics one can use to recognize the great horned owl. Listen closely at night as they can be identified by their stuttering series of four to five hoots “Hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo.”
Great horned owls are one of the most common owls found in North America. They live in a broad range of habitats; deciduous and evergreen forests, swamps, desert, tundra edges, tropical rainforests, as well as cities, orchards, suburbs, and parks.
Being early nesters, now is the season for listening to breeding males and females performing their beautiful duets of alternating calls. “Hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo!
Pictured at the right is “Hunter”, one of Wolf Ridge’s resident education animals. He is a light phase Great Horned Owl, meaning he has lighter coloration in his feathers. Learn more about Hunter and our other animals.
by Marie Laudeman