Great Gray Owl

The Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) is characteristic of having a puffy head, yellow eyes, and a circular facial discs. It is one of the largest owls in the world and has an extremely long tail. The plumage of this owl is very fluffy and thickly feathered with gray or brown. The face has a white mustache under the facial disc. The feet are completely covered by feathers. The Great Grey Owl is the provincial bird of Manitoba, Canada.

This owl is found in Alaska and across Canada, in the Northern Rocky Mountains, Minnesota, northern Europe and Asia. They live in forested areas like coniferous and spruce forests. They often breed in conifer and red fir forests in the Sierra Nevada. They usually hunt and forage in the late morning and late afternoon in swamps, bogs and areas with scattered trees and shrubs. This species of owl migrates to estuaries, and mountain meadows, among others where it can hunt smaller mammals like mice, voles, chipmunks, and others.

They nest in forests in nests made of sticks that were once occupied by hawks, ravens or crows, and sometimes on mistletoe shrubs. They line their nests with needles from trees, deer hair, moss and bark. They lay 2-5 eggs. While eggs are incubating, the male brings food to the female. They are aggressive over their nests. They can live up to 40 years of age. Threats include starvation, predation by Great Horned owls and sometimes wolverines and human-induced death, including shooting, road kill and electrocutions by wires.