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Great Gray Owl
A Reference for North and Central American Owls

 The Great Gray Owl is the largest of the North and Central American owls (the Snowy Owl is more massive). its large size and lack of ear tufts make it a very distinctive owl. Here you will find photos, recordings and a brief field notes section to help identify and enjoy this beautiful owl. A more in depth write up and range map can be found in its natural history page (the Biology link). To jump immediately to any of these sections use the Page Jump Links below.

Page Jump Links:
Photo Gallery
Additional photos
Photo Gallery - 2004/2005 Great Gray Owl invasion
Audio Recordings
Field Notes
Biology

 

PHOTO GALLERY
Click on the thumbnail to bring up each of the Owl photos.

Great Gray Owl Photo
222K
Great Gray Owl Photo
82K
Great Gray Owl Photo
163K

California Sierras
Yosemite area
September 2010

California Sierras
Yosemite area
September 2000
California Sierras
Yosemite area
May 2009

Great Gray Owl Photo

107K

Great Gray Owl Photo

149K

Great Gray Owl Photo

100K

Edmonton
Alberta
February 2001

Edmonton
Alberta
Februarys 2001
Edmonton
Alberta
February 2001

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

Photo 1
66K

Photo 2
59K
Photo 3
130K
Photo 4
84K

RECORDINGS
Click on the sonograms to bring up each of the recordings.

Sound File
71K
California Sierras
near Yosemite
September 1999

Sound File
55K
California Sierras
in Yosemite
July 1999

Primary territorial call. Female vocalization.

FIELD NOTES
Great Gray Owl - Strix nebulosa

 The Great Gray Owl is the largest of the North American Owls but not the most massive (allot of his size is feather). Distinguished by its grayish brown color, large size, "white mustache" and "black bow tie" (white throat and black chin). White distinctive eyebrows and lores.  Length is 27" (about the size of a Turkey Vulture or slightly smaller than a Golden Eagle), the iris of the eyes are yellow, the facial disk has concentric rings, and the bill is yellow to olive green. The Great Gray lacks ear tufts and has a relatively large head and small eyes. This is a nocturnal owl although largely crepuscular (hunting at dawn and dusk).

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