Great Horned Owl
Species: Bubo virginianus
Age: 30+ yrs
Area: North America
Hiss is one of our favorite educational birds. He is named for the hissing sound that Great Horned owls make and that he frequently displays.
Hisss is an old owl. He is definitely above the middle age mark, and we have been assuming his age to be about 15 -20 years old. He is so old that his beak and talons both must be trimmed each month from excessive growth. In captivity he can live 40 to 50 years.
He has been an educational bird for about 3 years. He came to the refuge about a year ago.
He prefers to stay inside and away from people, and has no real interest in leaving his room. He can be taken out of the cage, but will try to go back in.
Hiss's left wing was broken, and new bone formed over his wrist. He cannot spread the wing at all. He's had problems for 2 years from scraping and damaging his broken wing, but seems to have gotten over that.
Great Horned Owl - Bubo virginianus
Great Horned Owls are the only bird of prey that will kill for spite. They are known for bad attitudes, and most rehab centers dislike them. They are generally not trainable. They will forget what you taught them and fight you tooth and nail for what they want.
Great Horned Owls are the single most successful predator in the Americas. They can coexist with man or live in wilderness; they do not seem to care which. They are termed "the lions of the sky."
Great Horned Owl talons are able to exceed 2000 lbs pressure.
Great Horned Owls live in abandoned red tail hawk nests.
The brown area around their eyes are sound collectors for their ears. The yellow irises in their eyes help to amplify incoming light.
Great Horned Owls can turn their head just over 270 degrees (a clock face of the number 5 to the right and number 7 to the left)
Great Horned Owls prefer dusk and dawn hunting, and generally sleep during the middle of the day and middle of the night.
Great Horned Owls will kill crows in their nests at night. Not for food—just for sport. For this reason, crows will gang attack great horned owls if they find them during the day.
Their necks are approximately 5 to 9 inches long. They keep the neck hunched down, making it look shorter.
Their horns are nothing more than feathers designed to break up their silhouette. Great Horned Owls have the ability to lower their horns.