Great Horned Owl — Species Information

Great Horned Owl by Walt Thomas
Great Horned Owl - © Walt Thomas

A great horned owl can close its feet with 500 psi (pounds per square inch). The average human exerts- squeezing as hard as we can- 80-150 psi. However, the story that owls will eat your dogs/cats is an urban legend; an owl can only lift around its own body weight (2-3 lbs) and owls are found throughout urban areas. While we don't like to say it 'never' happens, it certainly doesn't happen with frequency. Owls will dive at cats, dogs and even people if they have a nest in the area, sometimes misconstrued as a hunting attempt.

Fun Facts!

Generalist raptor that captures a very wide range of prey, including reptiles, amphibians, rodents, and birds

Found throughout the U.S. in almost all habitats

Uses adaptations such as excellent low-light eyesight, hearing, and silent flight to capture prey

Owls do not build their own nests; because they lay eggs earlier in the year than most other species, they use old raven and hawk nests to raise their young

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“The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, just west of Tucson, is home to one of the most spectacular and accessible avian demonstrations in the U.S.”