E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Bubo virginianus (Gmelin, 1788)
Great Horned Owl
Family: Strigidae
Photo of species

© Bob Thacker  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #123494)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Bubo virginianus in British Columbia
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The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America, and is found from the Arctic south to the tropical rain forests of South America. It is a distinctive 'eared' species of owl that commonly breeds in British Columbia. Most breeding records are from southern BC, however there are many confirmed records in northern BC. See the Breeding Bird Atlas of British Columbia map for breeding records.

The Great Horned Owl may be confused with the Long-eared Owl. However, the Long-eared Owl is a smaller owl, and a much less common breeder in British Columbia, with only a handful of confirmed breeding records throughout the province (Breeding Bird Atlas of British Columbia 2013). The facial disk on the Great Horned Owl is usually 'tawny brown', while the facial disk on the Long-eared Owl is usually 'bright, rusty orange' (All About Birds 2013).

Great Horned Owls feed on a variety of prey, including skunks.

Listen to Great Horned Owl calls

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Campbell, R. Wayne, Neil K. Dawe, Ian McTaggart-Cowan, John M. Cooper, Gary W. Kaiser and Michael C. E. McNall. 1990. "The Birds of British Columbia. Volume 2 (Nonpasserines: Diurnal Birds of Prey Through Woodpeckers)". UBC Press.

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-07-15 7:53:06 PM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC