Great Gray Owl - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Great Gray Owl on the wing. - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Great Gray Owl - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Great Gray Owl - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Great Gray Owl
Strix nebulosa

Owls
Typical-Owl Family (Strigidae)

Size: Length: 61-84 cm Wingspan: 137-152 cm

Description: Our largest owl, the great gray owl is an uncommon year-round resident. It is considered to be at risk due to dropping population numbers. Larger than the great horned owl, it lacks the ear tufts and is more gray in colour. Despite its large size, most of the size is feather, and the great horned easily outweighs the great gray. The yellow eyes are surrounded by large facial disks. The disks are made of concentric rings of gray and black coloured feathers. Beneath the facial disk is a narrow white throat patch that almost resembles a bow-tie. The beak is light coloured. The head, wings and back are mottled gray with brown. The breast is lighter, with brown vertical bands. The tail extends beyond the body. Look for it on fence posts around dusk where it often keeps vigil for hares, ground squirrels, mice and voles. They are rarely spotted as they are quieter than other owls, rarely calling, and their drab colours blend with the light at dusk. They prefer to nest in mature poplar stands in marshy landscapes. They co-opt the abandoned nests of hawks and crows, often adding little to the existing structure.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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