Great Gray Owl (Strix Nebulosa) is the largest species of owl in the world. Among all predatory birds, it has the largest facial disc and it also lacks ear tufts. This big-head owl has the longest tail among all owl species. Male owl hoots like ‘whoo whoo whoo’.
It has a gray-colored face with yellow eyes. The lower part of the plumage is speckled with dark spots. Beneath its bill, great gray has a white collar called ‘bow tie’. The dark streak of feathers surrounds its face.
It can grow from 61 to 84 centimeters in length and a wingspan of 152 centimeters. On average, it weighs around 1,290 grams.
In captivity, great gray owls can live as long as 40 years.
Typically, it has a clutch size range of 2 to 5 eggs and the female incubates its eggs for about 30 days. After 4 to 5 weeks, the chicks are fledged and begin to fly. As the chicks begin to fly, the female abandons the nest and male owl looks after them for about 3 months.
It breeds from Quebec to Alaska in North America and Sweden, Finland and Norway in Europe.
Like most owls, great gray nests in abandoned cracks in trees of other raptors. Great gray owl inhabits thick coniferous forests like snow forest.
The diet of great gray owls consists of rodents only. It has an acute sense of hearing, enabling to catch its prey under 2 feet of snow.
Eurasian eagle-owl is the only known predator of these large-sized owls. However, the juvenile individuals fall prey to ravens, black bears and great horned owls. The collection of lumber from its habitat also poses great danger to its survival.
Other Names: Phantom of the North, Spruce Owl, Sooty Owl, Lapland Owl, Bearded Owl