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Species Spotlight: The Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl

When you think of a “wise old owl,” what species do you picture? For me, it’s always been the Great Gray Owl. Maybe it’s that silvery plumage, or maybe its that expressive round face, but something about these large Boreal owls has always embodied the mysterious personality of the Strigidae family.

Maybe it has something to do with their size. Great Gray Owls are one of the tallest owls in North America, but despite this they are silent and elusive hunters; difficult to spot and sensitive to the presence of humans, these ghost-like ambassadors of the wooded North are the avian embodiment of the wilderness.

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Fun Facts About the Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owls are some of the most sought after birds for birdwatchers, photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts. This is largely due to their limited population, secretive nature, and tendency to stick to remote habitats. If you’re lucky enough to spot a Great Gray Owl, you’re lucky indeed as these fascinating birds are strikingly beautiful. Here are some interesting things you may not have known about the Great Gray Owl:

The Future of the Great Gray Owl

Globally, Great Gray Owl populations are considered stable. They are classified as “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Despite this, they are endangered in some sections of their habitat. In California, the Great Gray Owl is endangered with fewer than 200 individual birds living in the state. Because they rely so heavily on pristine forest habitats, Great Gray Owls may be especially vulnerable to habitat degradation and loss.

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