You probably recognize great horned owls by the two tufts they have on their head – which aren’t ears, but actually feathers! Great horned owls are the most common owl in the Americas. They are some of the largest owls in the region, too: weighing up to five pounds, 18-25 inches tall, with a wingspan extending 40-57 inches.
They’re highly adaptable birds and will move to another location if needed to ensure their survival.
Great horned owls have an interesting diet. They’ll eat animals common to other owls like voles, mice, squirrels, or snakes, but they’ll also take down bigger animals like foxes, skunks, falcons, and other owls. In particular, great horned owls will prey upon barn owls.
When they eat a smaller animal, they swallow it whole and regurgitate a pellet just like barn owls do. However, great horned owls have the ability to break up the bones of the animals they eat, so their pellets are chalky and porous and it can be more difficult to identify what prey there is in their pellets.
Why not try your hand at dissecting some great horned owl pellets for an extra challenge? Buy them here.