Great Grey Owl (Lapland Owl)
The Great Grey Owl or Lapland Owl (Strix nebulosa) is a very large owl. They breed in North America from Lake Superior to the Pacific coast and
Alaska, and from Scandinavia across northern Asia. They are permanent residents, but may move south and southeast when food is scarce. A small population, estimated at less than 100 birds, occurs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Their breeding habitat is dense coniferous forest near open areas, such as meadows or bogs.
The Great Grey Owl is 24 to 33 inches in length with a wingspan of around 60 inches. Adults can weigh from 28 to 51 ounces, the females generally weighing a little more than the males. Adults have a round head with a grey face and yellow eyes with darker circles around them. The under parts are light with dark streaks. The upper parts are gray with pale bars. This owl does not have ear tufts.
Their food source is small mammals, typically voles being their most important food source. They have excellent hearing and may even capture prey moving beneath snow cover. Their large facial discs focus sound, and the unbalanced placement of their ears assists them in locating prey.
Great grey owls do not build nests, but will often use nests left by other large birds, such as a raptor. They will also nest in broken-top trees and cavities in large trees. Four eggs is the usual clutch.