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Birds of Prey in Oklahoma Great Horned Owl
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Bubo virginianus

OTHER NAME: Hoot Owl, Cat Owl

Great Horned Owl STATUS IN OKLAHOMA:
Inhabits deciduous and mixed woods, wooden ravines, caves, and cliffs. Uncommon permanent resident in central and western regions (low density populations do not warrant status of "common) ; rare in parts of eastern region.

"Oklahoma Bird Life" by: Frederick M. & A. Marguerite Baumgartner

Great Horned Owl IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS:
The Great Horned Owl is the largest of the "tufted" owls in North America. This owls face is dominated by the large tufts or "horns", yellow eyes and a white throat patch. The undersides are barred, and these owls can vary in color from a reddish brown to a grey or black and white. The large feet are feathered to the ends of the toes, and the immature birds resemble the adults.

Great Horned Owl HABITAT:
The Great Horned Owl is a very adaptable bird and is found in a variety of habitats. This owl is often found breeding in stands of trees or wood lots bordering open fields and agricultural areas. They can be found in cities as well as utilizing parks, residential areas and industrial developments.

FEEDING HABITS:
The Great Horned Owl is known as the most veracious of all raptors as it feeds on a very wide variety of prey. Including water fowl, rabbits, squirrels, marsh birds and rodents.

NESTING:
The Great Horned Owl can be found in many situations including tree and cactus cavities, nest boxes, cliff ledges and old crow, squirrel or hawk nests. Courtship and territory formation begins in early winter and the juveniles are dependant on the adults through the summer and sometimes will not leave their parents territory until forced to in late fall.

CONSERVATION STATUS:
Although Federal status prohibits the shooting or harassment of the Great Horned Owl, it is still persecuted by some for its killing of game birds and poultry.