I have many aliases such as: Great Grey Ghost, Phantom of the north, Spectral owl, Lapland owl, Spruce owl, Bearded owl, and Sooty owl.

We are also the provincial bird emblem of Manitoba in Canada, which we are very proud of.

This is the female speaking today, as my partner is off finding dinner for us. We are one of the world's largest owls and are dark grey pretty much all over, maybe spotted with a little bit of light grey and white flecks. We have a lot of plumage and long wings and tails. Our faces and heads are good sized which make our eyes appear smaller then normal but there's nothing wrong with our eyesight. We have what you might call a moustache under our face and we look like we are wearing a black bow tie. Actually very attractive looking of course. We don't like to fly much just short distances between perches and we like to keep low to the ground about 20 feet up, except when flying to our home of course.

Our taste in food is mostly rodents but we have been known to eat squirrels, frogs, snakes and yucky insects which I might add is very seldom. We usually hunt in the early morning or late afternoon and because of our great hearing ability we can capture a mouse 12 inches under the snow. Pretty impressive huh?.

When it's time to start a family which is usually in midwinter our males bring us food to get us interested and then they find us a cozy little nest and attract us with their mating calls. We are very fussy about our nests and the male may have to look for several before we make up our minds. We usually prefer forests but if he can find a nice meadow we will settle in there providing it has been spruced up with new moss, pine needles, and shredded bark. I usually lay around 3 eggs and my little ones are born within 29 days.

My partner is in charge of finding the food for our children and I feed them. They are usually ready to leave the nest at 3 to 4 weeks but hang around the nest for several months while I care for them. We are very protective of our young and are not even afraid of black bears if they threaten our family.

We reside mostly in the north in Alaska across Canada in the Rockies and northern Minnesota. We have also been spotted in northern Europe and Russia, formerly known as the Soviet Union.

Well my significant other has returned with dinner so I must go and take care of my family now. I'm glad I've had a chance to tell you a little bit about us and remember shooting us is against the law and not very nice either.

The Great Gray Owl

Listen to a Great Gray

..and for more...

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