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Great Horned Owl

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About the Great Horned Owl

Also known as: Hoot Owl, Cat Owl, Winged Tiger

The Great Horned Owl is a large owl native to North and South America. It is an adaptable bird with a vast range, though it is not as widespread as the Barn Owl.

Generally, the largest owls are found closer to the Polar regions and the smallest owls are found closer to the Equator, while females are larger than males. Adults have large ear tufts, a reddish, brown or gray face and a white patch on the throat. The iris is yellow. The ear tufts are not actually ears, but simply tufts of feathers.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 25 July 2007
Scientific Name Bubo virginianus
  • Strigiformes
  • Strigidae
  • Bubo
  • B. virginianus
Birdorable Family Owls
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 27 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
18 to 27 inches
40 to 60.5 inches
50 ounces
Range North America Central America South America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • Jacurutu (Brazilian)
  • 美洲雕鸮 (Chinese)
  • Výr Virginský (Czech)
  • Amerikansk Stor (Danish)
  • Amerikaanse oehoe (Dutch)
  • Amerikanhuuhkaja (Finnish)
  • Grand-duc d'Amérique (French)
  • Virginia-Uhu (German)
  • Gufo della Virginia (Italian)
  • アメリカワシミミズク (Amerikawashimimizuku) (Japanese)
  • 수리부엉이 (Suribueongi) (Korean)
  • Amerikahubro (Norwegian)
  • Puchacz Wirginijski (Polish)
  • Американский филин (Russian)
  • Bubo virginianus (Spanish)
  • Virginiauv (Swedish)

Related articles & downloads

Great Horned Owl Coloring Page

Great Horned Owl Coloring Page

Great Horned Owls are large and powerful birds found across the Americas. They are variable in size across their vast range, with northern birds tending to be larger and heavier. Great Horned ... more
Baby Birdorable: Great Horned Owl

Baby Birdorable: Great Horned Owl

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Great Horned Owl. Great ... more