Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus

One of the largest owl in Tennessee is the Great Horned Owl.  It is named because the feathers on top of their head look like horns.  Notice the large yellow eyes.  This is an animal that is at the top of the food chain.  It is a powerful predator that eats rodents, rabbits, woodchucks, chipmunks, squirrels, and birds.  Great Horned Owls will even eat skunks because they are powerful enough to catch a skunk and they don’t have a sense of smell. Although they are usually nocturnal hunters, Great Horned Owls sometimes hunt in daylight. They may even walk on the ground to stalk small prey. 

Great Horned Owls call out their territories with deep, soft hoots with a stuttering rhythm: hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. The male and female of a breeding pair may perform a duet of alternating calls, with the female’s voice recognizably higher in pitch than the males.

Males and females look very similar except the females are a little bigger.  Boomerangs story is that someone found her as a baby and thought it would be a good idea to keep her as a pet.  Not such a good idea!  Do you know how to teach owl’s how to fly?  Do you know how to teach an owl how to hunt?  Boomerang relied on people to feed her.  She became imprinted and did not learn that she should stay away from people.  The wildlife rehabilitators tried to teach her to hunt on her own but she did not respond.  She will spend the rest of her life with us.  A good lesson learned-keep wildlife wild!

Born in 2004
Arrived in 2004
Weighs 1600 grams approx. 3.5 lbs