The Great Grey Owl is found across Canada, from the Pacific coast of British Columbia to South Western Quebec, including southern Ontario.
As with other Owls and some birds of prey, the female is larger than the male, with the average length of an adult female being 24 to 33" for females and males measuring on average 26".
In terms of body length, the Great Grey is thought to possibly be the largest owl in the world, although the Eurasian Eagle-Owl and the Blakiston's Fish Owl are believed to be heavier.
On average, the wingspan of a female is 4' 8" and a male's wingspan often measures an inch or two less.
As other owls do, the Great Grey Owl's deep call is a "Whooo, Whooo" usually when they are interacting with their young as at other times they are silent.
They lay their eggs and breed in coniferous forests and these birds are found in Ontario year-round, although they may move farther south during the winter months, to places where prey is more abundant, such as southern Ontario, New York state and the New England states.
Rather than building a nest, as most other birds do, these Owls tend to use the nests previously built by other raptors or cavities in large trees.
In Oregon, USA, these owls have been using, successfully, platforms erected by owl-loving citizens, for the purpose of nesting individuals who might otherwise not find a suitable place to lay their eggs.
The female normally lays four eggs and incubates them for four weeks, and the young owlets are fed by the father who hunts for small prey, but the mother stays on guard over the chicks.
By the end of the summer as winter begins, the young Owls are on their own and hunting for themselves.
Their prey is typically small mammals, such as mice, voles and squirrels.
The harvesting of forests is a factor in the success or failure of the Great Grey Owl as this reduces their habitat and their supply of food, and they may disappear from areas where forests have been clear cut.
Other dangers also put these owls at risk, such as rodent poisons, being hit by vehicles, and increasingly, West Nile Virus also affects Great Greys.
Although they have few predators, bears have been observed killing young owls, as well as Great Horned Owls, but neither of these is a threat to adults.
The Great Grey Owl - All About Birds
Do you have a report or pictures of a Great Grey Owl in Ontario? We would love to see them!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Jan 18, 20 09:23 PM
One of our readers sent us this report ... I live in Woolwich Township. I'm an amateur photographer and after 3 years of trying to find an owl in the wild to photograph I came across this beauty! He s…
Jan 03, 20 05:00 AM
I am trying to find out the name of the birds that flock together on the side of the road in the winter time. Lots of people call them snow birds but I do not think that is what they are.
Jan 02, 20 06:00 AM
Birdwatching has been a long-time hobby of mine, and this area of Ontario is rich with bird life - from the fleeting glimpses of Hummingbirds in the Summer, to the arrival of the graceful Tundra Swans…