The great horned owl is a large "tufted" ear owl, approximately 50 cm tall. It is a mottled grey-brown with distinct grey-brown barred appearance on the breast.
This owl generally resides in natural areas and is common throughout Alberta.
- Occasionally out in daylight, but tends to be a silent nocturnal hunter.
- Preys on a variety of birds, mice, skunks, hares and rabbits.
- Nests in late winter.
- May defend the nest area by swooping toward the intruder. Generally, they are easily scared away, but an umbrella may be used as a deterrent.
The great horned owl is our provincial bird and is protected by the Wildlife Act.
- Keep a watchful eye on small pets if owls are in the area.
- Covered kennels or exercise pens are recommended.
- Domestic bird pens may be covered with synthetic netting, available at hardware and farm stores, greenhouse and nursery supply locations.
Further information about owls may be found at:
- Agri-facts, Prevention of Predator Damage in Poultry Flocks
- Alberta Environment and Parks, Great Horned Owl
For additional expertise and knowledge, call the Strathcona Raptor Shelter at 780-922-3024.
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