Great Horned Owl - Bube virginianus
Tompkins - Friday,May 11, 2012
images by: Stanley Willows

Stanley Willows happened upon this Great Horned Owl at an abandoned farm yard near Tompkins, Saskatchewan only a few days before Stan died.

Great Horned Owls are found throughout North and Central America and though they may vary slightly from one part of the country to another they are a remarkably adaptable bird. They are at the top of the food chain and will kill and eat all manner of other birds from grouse to other birds of prey. Their primary food is medium sized mammals with everything from mice to porcupines as part of their diet. Apparently they are opportunists who will eat what ever they spot with their amazing eyesight and directional hearing.

The Great Horned Owl once mated are a territorial animal who stays within its own hunting area. They nest early in a convenient nest, preferring another bird’s nest building and usually lay two eggs which take over a month to incubate. The young start to fly about seven weeks after hatching but will beg for food up to five months after leaving their nest. Single owls are not territorial until their about two when they select a mate.

This owl hunts at night and is the one we have all heard making the “ho-ho-hoo hoo hoo” call.