Great Grey Owl

The Great Grey Owl is not just a pretty face!

The Great Grey Owl is not just a pretty face! Its distinctive large facial disks or ‘ruffs’ around the eyes are specially designed to catch and direct sound to the ears – making this owl’s hearing supercharged. And that’s just as well, as it will often have to hunt for its food in thick snow, which it will plunge for, using its long, feathered legs to grapple with its prey.

A Great Grey Owl can sense its prey from a distance, and under 2 feet of snow. It will regularly patrol, looking for prey, as in harsh weather conditions it can’t afford to miss a single opportunity to feed. When food is scarce, the female Great Grey Owl will starve herself in order to feed her young, and can lose up to a third of her bodyweight.

Where are they found?
The Great grey owl can be found in dense forest in a number of locations, including Asia, Europe, North America and Russia.

Scientific name
Strix Nebulosa
Family
Strigidae
Order
Strigiformes
Lifespan
In the wild, about 12 years. In captivity, 30 to 40 years.
Fast facts
The Great Grey Owl is also known as a Lapland Owl or ‘The Phantom of the North’.
The Great Grey Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, and the largest to live in the northern hemisphere.
To help it hunt in deep snow, the Great Grey Owl has long, feathered legs.
Conservation status
Least concern