The Great Gray Owl is the largest owl in North America and one of the largest owls in the world (from 24 to 33 inches). There are an estimated 50,000 Great Grays in North America. Inhabiting
coniferous forests of the Northern Hemisphere, they are not migratory but will leave their territories if their food supply
runs short. They prefer dense forests (pine, spruce, poplar and larch) with adjacent meadows. Having evolved in the northern
latitudes, where there are long periods of light, they hunt equally well both day and night. The diet consists of voles and
other small rodents and birds. Their excellent hearing allows them to detect the movement of rodents in their tunnels.
than building their own nests, they use the old nests of hawks and crows to lay their white eggs, numbering from two to six
(occasionally nine). The eggs are laid from mid-March to June and take about 30 days to hatch. At about two months, the owlets
take their first flights.
These large dusky gray birds are striped lengthwise on the underparts. The large head (almost
20 inches in circumference) is round without ear tufts. Yellow eyes are edged on the inside with black, then that is edged
with a white, comma-shaped streak. The large facial disc has a dark ruff encircling the face. Within that there are concentric
circles of gray-brown on white. There is a noticeable black spot on the chin. The tail (about 12 inches) is very long for
an owl. The voice is a deep booming whoo-hoo-hoo.