The Great Horned Owl, a Master of Camouflage

In our last post, we talked a little bit about a unique parrot that was very difficult to track partially because of its unusual nocturnal behavior. This week we will continue to take a look at nocturnal birds, but for the most part this particular feathered friend will be much more recognizable to the broad audience. Spread all across North America and parts of South America, the Great Horned Owl is the quintessential owl of storybooks. Their two ear-like tufts of feathers on their head and its intimidating yellow-eyed gaze is what earned this owl its name.

Although they tend to dine on smaller animals and insects such as mice, frogs, and tiny scorpions, they are well known for being able to take down birds and other animals larger than itself. Another powerful quality about these birds is their adaptability to dynamic environments. A Great Horned Owl would feel equally at home in a desert as it would in the wetlands or even cities. Their signature call if a series of four to five deep, stuttering hoots.

The Great Horned Owl has a larger than average body size for birds, but this is no problem for them when it comes to their talent for camouflage. Their feathers are usually a mixed scheme of colors between white and dark brown to help them blend in with the trees they are nesting at. It was once measured that when they have their talons clenched tightly, it took a force of twenty eight pounds to pull them apart again.

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