Bubo virginianus Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Florida’s largest owl, standing more than two feet tall (61 cm) tall, the great horned owl is fairly common throughout the state, but it is not found on the Keys. This striking-looking owl has large yellow eyes and ear tufts (horns). For such a large bird, the great horned owl has a rather weak voice — its call is a low “hoo-hoo-hoowha,” and much quieter than the smaller barred owl.
Great horned owls eat a huge variety of prey — from rats and rabbits to skunks, opossums, egrets, turkeys and other owls. There is even an observation of them eating recently hatched loggerhead turtles at Vero Beach.
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