Hoot, Hawkeye's Great Grey Owl, is just over a month old now. We are still unsure of its gender, but will be able to determine this in the months to come. For now we will refer to Hoot as a female.
She is eating quail 4-5 times a day in small amounts, immediately followed by a nap. She is more and more active each day, becoming more adventurous and hopping out of the nesting box to explore her surroundings. Her juvenile feathers on her wings are coming in and she is starting to exercise those wings by flapping and then hopping each time. Hoot is also starting to use her talons by jumping and grabbing the newspaper in her nesting box and then ripping it up with her beak.
Cool Grey Owl Facts
- Although the Great Grey Owl is one of the tallest owls in North America, it’s just a ball of feathers. Both the Great Horned Owl and Snowy Owl weigh more and have larger feet and talons.
- Great Grey Owls aren’t just North American owls. They also live in Scandinavia, Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia.
- Great Grey Owls are powerful birds. Despite weighing only 2.5 pounds, they can break through hard packed snow to grab small mammals. One bird reportedly broke through snow that was hard enough to support a 176-pound human.
- Great Grey Owls are big owls, which means that they need to eat regularly. In the winter, they eat up to 7 vole-sized small mammals every day.
- Both the common and scientific names are apt for this large gray owl. The Latin name for Great Grey Owl is Strix nebulosa. Strix means to utter shrill sounds and nebulosa means misty or cloudy, referring to its gray color.
- Imagine what it would be like if you could hear even the slightest noise and knew exactly where the noise was coming from. Well, that is exactly what Great Grey Owls can do. Like the Barn Owl and Long-eared Owl they have asymmetrical ear openings that help them find prey by sound alone. The left ear opening is higher on the head than the right ear opening which enables precise directional hearing and lets them nab invisible prey.
- The oldest recorded Great Grey Owl was at least 18 years, 9 months old and lived in Alberta, where it was banded in 1996 and found in 2013, after being hit by a car.
We will continue to follow Hoot’s progress and keep you updated on all her new achievements. Keep in mind, our Falconry experience is starting up again on June 21st and we have lots of hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons for you to get up close and personal with. Book your Hawkeye falconry experience now by calling 416 429 5393.