Julio the Great Horned Owl
- Hatched: Spring of 2000
- Arrived at Portland Audubon: Spring 2005
- Sex: Female
Julio was found as a baby after the tree with her nest in it was cut down. She was then raised by humans and never learned how to be an owl. By the time she was brought to the Wildlife Care Center at five years of age, it was too late to reverse the imprinting that had occurred. Releasing Julio back into the wild after she had imprinted on people would have put both humans and the owl at unacceptable risk.
About Great Horned Owls
Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus
The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America. Although you might not know it as owls are tough to spot! They can be found in all of Oregon’s habitats, from forests to cities to backyards to deserts. This owl is a fierce predator, taking other raptors like Osprey and Peregrine Falcons as well as mice.
Great Horned Owls are the most common large owls found in North America. They are listed as a species of “least concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
- Habitat: Adaptable. Woodlands, meadows, farmlands, city parks.
- Field Marks: Large ear tufts, mottled gray-brown overall, barred lower breast and belly.
- Songs & Calls: Their vocalizations include the very distinctive low, hooting, who-who-whowhoho-whoo-whoo. The male voice is usually lower and deeper in tone than the females’. They will become much more vocal while courting.
- Great Horned Owls are powerful, fearless hunters. They have been recorded preying on animals as large as Great Blue Herons and skunks.
- Size & Shape: 22″, wingspan 45″. Formidable owl, block-headed with prominent ear tufts.
- Color: Mottled grayish-brown, yellow eyes, brownish facial disc, white throat, finely barred lower breast, belly.
- Behavior: Hunts mostly at night, watching, listening for prey from perch, then pursuing, capturing it with talons. Diet extremely varied, mostly small mammals but also birds, large insects, cold-blooded animals including fish. Does not build nest, uses snags, cavities, nests of other species, especially Red-tailed Hawk. One of earliest-nesting birds, lays eggs as early as January.
- Diet: Great Horned Owls capture a wide variety of prey that ranges in size from mice to jack rabbits.