The Great Horned Owl is the second largest, the fiercest, the strongest, and the bravest owl in America. It will attack geese and turkeys, bring down rabbits and skunks, and it has been reported to defeat the Bald Eagle in combat.
The Great Horned Owl is a large owl, 18-23 inches long and 35-52 inches in wingspan. The plumage varies with climate (Gloger's rule- see Notes). Generally it is neutral brown on the upper parts, spotted with black and darker browns on the upper parts and wings. The underside is white, streaked and barred very heavily with brown and black. The collar, or bib, is light. The facial disk is lighter brown, with a white "beard" and white eyebrows. Notes- Color Phases (Gloger's Rule)
The Great Horned Owl uses abandoned nests in trees in dense forests and wetlands. 2-5 white eggs are laid, and are incubated by both parents for 26-30 days. The nestlings fly in 9-10 weeks.
The Great Horned Owl is found from the treeline (boundary between forest and tundra) in the north throughout North, Central and South America, as well as the West Indies. They are common, and have many geographical subspecies.
The Great Horned Owl is a fierce hunter, and will bring down any bird, mammal, insect, or even fish it can handle. It will attack many other birds of prey, other owls, and when food is scarce, it will prey on the household cat. Truly, the Great Horned Owl is one of the most vicious and brave hunters around.