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Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) | by Gerald (Wayne) Prout
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Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) photographed at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park located in Homosassa Springs in Citrus County Florida U.S.A.


There is considerable variation in plumage colouration but not in body shape in the Great Horned Owl. This is a heavily built, barrel-shaped species that has a large head and broad wings. Adults have large ear tufts and it is the only very large owl in its range

to have them. The facial disc is reddish, brown or grey in colour and there is a variable sized white patch on the throat. The iris is yellow. Its "horns" are neither ears nor horns, simply tufts of feathers. The under parts are usually light with some brown barring; the upper-parts are generally mottled brown. Most subspecies are barred along the sides as well. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons, with some black skin peeking out from around the talons. The feet and talons are distinctly large and powerful and only other Bubo owls have comparably formidable feet.

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Taken on March 4, 2014