Explore, enjoy and protect the planet: "Owl: Great Horned Owl"
The first great owl specimen was collected in Virginia -thus its name, Bubo virginianus- but the bird's range is huge from upper Canada to Tierra del Fuego. A large female may stand two feet tall; to suddenly come upon one in person, though, you might swear she was twice that. Even very young great horned owls have an impressive, distinctly no-nonsense hunter's presence.
The owl's roughly disk-shaped face functions as a parabolic dish to enhance the bird's hearing. Another specialization common among owls is the disposition of its toes: two point forward, two backward. This gives the owl a larger "handspan" for grasping prey. Think of a talon-tipped baseball glove.
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