SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Friday, April 13, 2012

Great Gray Owl

The Great Gray Owl has a body length of about 24 - 33 inches, a wingspan of 4 1/2 - 5 feet, and weighs only 1 1/2 - 3 pounds, despite its large size.
The main food of this owl is small mammals, like voles, but it will also eat birds, amphibians, and insects. They hunt mainly during dusk and dawn (crepuscular) from a perch at the forest edge or in a clearing, but will also hunt at night (nocturnal) and occasionally during the daytime (diurnal).

Great Gray Owls will usually use another bird’s abandoned nest, but will also nest in broken tree stumps, man-made platforms, and sometimes on the ground. The female lays 2 - 6 eggs, which are incubated for 28 - 30 days. The young birds leave the nest at 20 - 30 days and fledge 1 - 2 weeks later. Most Great Gray Owls become sexually mature at 3 years.

The scientific name comes from the Greek word strizo, meaning to screech, and the Latin word nebulosa, meaning dark or clouded, and refers to the plumage color. The common name describes this owl's size and color. The Great Gray Owl has also been called Gray Owl, Spectral Owl, Sooty Owl, and Spruce Owl.

Great Gray Owls can hunt for prey under snow cover by using their keen sense of hearing.
The owl will plunge feet first into the snow to catch a rodent that it never saw.

Great Gray Owls are considered the largest of the North American owls, but the Snowy Owl and Great Horned Owl are heavier and more powerful.