Great Horned Owl - Bubo virginianus


This large predator was first observed in the colony of Virginia, hence its Latin name virginianus. The German naturalist Johann Gmelin described it for the first time in 1788. Its range extends from Western Alaska to the South East region of Brazil. There are 12 sub-species, differing mainly in colour: the northern ones are predominantly grey wheras the southern species are darker with a red facial disc. The Great Horned Owl’s wings are shorter than the European’s – this difference is due to the fact that it does more hunting in forest environments.

First chick hatched at Le Rocher des Aigles : 1st April, 1989


CLASS : Aves
ORDER : Strigiformes
FAMILY : Strigidae
WINGSPAN : 1.4 m
WEIGHT : Male 0.7-1.4 kg / Female 1-2.5 Kg
CLUTCH SIZE : 2 eggs
INCUBATION : 28-30 days
LIFE EXPECTANCY : 25 years (Record 50 years in captivity)
DIET : small mammals, small birds, fish and sometimes snakes or amphibians.
NATURAL HABITAT : dense forests, wooded areas, deserts, plains and cliffs.
RANGE : American continent.

Conservation status

Conservation status info

Rocher des Aigles

LC : Least Concern
The American Great Horned Owl population is stable, yet it remains threatened by hunting, traps, road collisions and electrocution.