By Pam Albo
The Great Horned Owl is a majestic bird of prey and is a prominent resident of Arizona including the city of Phoenix. Recognizable by its distinctive tufted “horns” or ear tufts, this owl species boasts an impressive wingspan of up to 4-1/2 feet and sharp 3-inch talons that make it an efficient hunter.
These owls are highly adaptable and can be found in diverse habitats, from deserts to forests. They have a versatile diet, preying on small mammals, birds, and even reptiles. The Great Horned Owl’s keen senses, particularly its exceptional 3-D night vision and acute hearing, contribute to its prowess as a nocturnal hunter. Pet owners are advised to keep watch over their small animals when outdoors, especially at night.
Fact: Owls can’t move their eyes from side to side; instead, they swivel their heads up to 180 degrees to look in any direction
These owls are known for their hooting calls, which are often heard during the breeding season. Their vocalizations serve as a means of communication between mates.
In urban areas like Phoenix, Great Horned Owls have shown resilience, adapting to the changing landscape. They may even nest in trees within city parks or suburban neighborhoods.