The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), aka tiger owl or hoot owl, is the most widely distributed owl in the Americas, with a range that includes most of the United States, Canada and Mexico, much of Central America, Colombia, Guyana, parts of Ecuador and Peru, and the southern half of Brazil and large swaths of eastern Bolivia and Argentina.
Pictured here is the a subspecies, the South American Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus nacurutu), whose range includes eastern Colombia, Venezuela, Belize, French Guiana, northeastern Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. Its colors are more dull and its eyes amber.
Size matters (via Owl Pages):
Length 45-63.5cm. Wingspan 91-152cm. Tail length 175-250mm. Weight 900-2503g. Females are 10-20% larger than males.
It’s known for its horn-like tufts and its acute eye sight. The tufts aren’t ears or horns but simply feathers, and its eyes are among the largest and most powerful in the animal kingdom; here, in these photos taken int the middle of the day, they look rather tired and depressed.
- Great Horned Owl status update from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species
- Great Horned Owl at Avibase
- Great Horned Owl on The Owl Pages
- Great Horned Owl in the Audubon Field Guide
- Great Horned Owl on Wikipedia
These initial images were taken at the Parque Cóndor, a rescue and release bird park and sanctuary near Otavalo, Ecuador.