Where Do Great Horned Owls Live?

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Great horned owls have a tremendous range. They can be found from Canada to Mexico, from coast to coast, in all different kinds of habitats. Learn about the preferred habitat for great horned owls with information from a science teacher in this free video on animal habitats.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Habitats
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Video Transcript

It's one of the most distinctive bird calls in the animal kingdom. You're likely to hear it around dusk. It's the hoo hoo of a great horned owl. They're magnificent birds, one of the largest owl species. I'm Janice Creneti. I've been teaching environmental science and animal science for about twenty years, and I'm here to answer the question, where do great horned owls live? Well great horned owls are a species that have a tremendous range, that means the amount of area they cover. They go all the way up to Canada into Arctic regions and they go all the way down into Mexico. They also are found from coast to coast in all different kinds of habitats. They're found in farmlands, they're found in woodlands, they're found in forests. Although they prefer open patches between the trees. The reason for that is great horned owls are predators. You can tell by their curved beak. And their sharp talons. They are nocturnal which means they're predominantly active at night. That's when they do their hunting. It's how they're able to live in the same environment with a hawk, they share the prey, the hawks catch them during the day and the owls catch them at night. Mostly warm blooded mammals, rabbits, small mice, things like that. The most distinctive feature on the great horned owl is its horns, which are of course actually not horns at all, they're just tufts of feathers that are located slightly above their ear opening, that's where their name comes from, the great horned owl. Now this is what we would call a sub-arctic version, you can see the whiter color is going to help it blend into the snow. The other version, the one that's slightly more brownish, that's what we would typically see in a woodland area in warmer places. This is the kind that we see down in Florida where I live, much more suited to blend in with the treed environment, with bark, not a lot of snow down here in Florida. Large powerful birds, beautiful to look at beautiful to listen to. I'm Janice Creneti, and this is where do great horned owls live.


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