Featured Sanctuary Bird: Great horned owl

This week's featured sanctuary bird is the (rather grumpy-looking) Great Horned Owl. This iconic bird is easy to recognize by two prominent tufts and its fierce yellow stare.

On average, February 18 is when Great Horned Owls begin nesting. Their ideal habitat is woods interspersed with open fields, so our Faville Grove Sanctuary is a perfect match. Matt Weber, our Faville Grove land steward, says:

"Here at Faville Grove, the impending spring is reflected by recent activity in the wildlife community. The nightly courtship hooting of great-horned owls signals that nesting season is almost underway, at least for this early bird. The loss of snow cover has come at a fortunate time for nesting owls, exposing the runways of unsuspecting mice that once found protection in a maze of tunnels under the snow."

Photos by Arlene Koziol

Photos by Arlene Koziol

Because this amazing predator is nocturnal, it's best to look for it at dusk and listen for several deep hoots. To plan a visit to Faville's Great Horned Owls, try our Faville Google Map, or contact faville@madisonaudubon.org