The Great Grey Owl

February 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Great Grey Owl typically resides in the dense Boreal forests throughout most of Canada, into a number of states bordering Canada and down into the Rocky Mountains as well. You can find them as far away as Finland. They prefer dense conifer forests, adjacent meadows, bogs. Generally, favors country with mix of dense forest for nesting and roosting, and open areas for hunting. In the north, mostly around bogs, clearings, and burns in extensive coniferous woods; in the west, mostly around meadows in mountain forest. They are a large looking but that is partly an illusion because they have very fluffy feathers.  May hunt by day or night, daytime feeding is usually near dawn or dusk. Usually hunts by listening and watching from a perch, swooping down when it locates prey, sometimes hunts by flying low over open areas. Can locate prey by sound, and will plunge into snow to catch rodents more than a foot below the surface. It is fun to watch them after plunging into the snow after its prey they will move their feet around searching for its prey, it almost looks like dancing. I had the pleasure last week to spend a few days around these two beauty’s. I had them flying over my head and landing less than 20 feet away and pulling up Voles out of the snow covered surface. It amazed me how they could hear the voles moving under the snow. This year is an irruption year which typically happens every four years or so, there are reports of Great Grey numbers on the rise in Canada since early February. This was a bucket list bird for me, I was so glad to get to see them, truly a magnificent bird, words cannot truly describe these regal, majestic animals. 

     


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