- The long loose plumage of the great gray owl makes it the largest of all the owls in Alberta. It measures at 75 centimetres
(29 inches) long.
- The great gray owl's body is dark grey streaked throughout with lighter grey.
- The large rounded head lacks ear tufts.
- The facial disk is large and well defined.
- Darker grey concentric circles surround the eyes.
- In Alberta, they inhabit forests of the boreal forest and foothill regions in the northern half of the province.
- Their total range includes the circumpolar coniferous forests of the world.
- In North America they may winter as far south as California but most remain in Canada.
- Great gray owls are seldom found away from dense timber.
- From a perch in a tree it swoops down upon its prey — usually small mammals and birds.
- The great gray owl is most active during the early mornings and late evenings.
- Nesting occurs in trees, usually in an old, bulky nest built by other birds.
- Two to five eggs are laid.
The great gray owl is classified as Sensitive in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:
- Like all birds of prey in Alberta, the great gray owl is protected by the provincial Wildlife Act.
- The great gray owl is a naturally scarce species.
Updated: Apr 29, 2010