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Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus

Habitat: dense forests, deserts, plains, city parks

Diet: mainly small mammals; also birds, reptiles, amphibians

Life span: 13 years (29-30 years in captivity)

Young: 2-4 eggs/clutch

Size: 900–2300 g (2–5 lbs)

This large and heavy owl is Alberta’s provincial bird.

The great horned owl can carry prey that is 2 to 3 times heavier than its own weight because it has very strong talons. These owls prefer to eat hares, rabbits and mice. As they have a poor sense of smell, great horned owls will also eat skunks.

Learn more about this species:

These are some other websites that we think have more great information about this species.

Great horned owl on Animal Diversity Web


Range: North, Central, and South America

Status in the Wild

Status: thriving

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


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