The great horned owl is an enchanting sight to behold in the outdoors of Wisconsin. Here are some fun facts about these majestic creatures:

1. Great horned owls are found throughout North America and are equally at home in wetlands, forests, deserts, prairies, backyards and cities.

2. Great horned owls are one of the fiercest predators in nature, taking prey as large as osprey and other owls.

3. When great horned owls clench their talons, it takes a force of 28 lbs to get them open. This grip is used to sever the spines of their prey.

4. If you hear a murder of crows cawing and agitated, they could be mobbing a great horned owl, so always be sure to look. The owl is one of the crows’ predators.

5. The female great horned owl is larger than the male, as she has to have room to keep the youngsters protected. His voice is deeper than hers, though as his voice box is larger. They often call back and forth, enabling you to determine which is male and which is female.

6. Here in Wisconsin, great horned owls lay their eggs in late January to early February. The female will stay on the eggs to keep them warm for 35 days. Think of her the next time you hear the wind howling and see the snow blowing.

If you have any questions about feeding or attracting birds, send me an email at or give me a call at 715-298-3140.

Happy birding!

Lori Schubring is the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Rib Mountain.

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