Great grey owl hunting in the snow

Great grey owl

The great grey owl is a large, reclusive predator of the taiga's coniferous forests. Plunge marks in the snow are usually the only evidence for its presence. Distinctive extra-large facial disks direct sound to feather covered ear openings, providing super-sensitive hearing. This enables the great grey owl to accurately locate prey, even under two feet of snow or in a tunnel. With soft feathers, it can glide unheard from its perch to dispatch an unfortunate rodent with its sharp talons. The abundance of food, especially voles, is crucial for the number of eggs a female will lay. Great grey owls will travel vast distances when local prey is scarce.

Scientific name: Strix nebulosa

Rank: Species

Common names:

Lapland owl

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Distribution

The Great grey owl can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, North America, Russia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Great grey owl distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

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