Great grey owl

LIVING HABITS

The great grey owl breeds all over the northern conifer forest belt. The species can be found in Central and North Finland, except the northernmost parts of Lapland. The great grey owl prefers old conifer and mixed forests, nesting in previously used twig-nests of birds of prey. It feeds mostly on rodents. The great grey owl is not particularly tied to a certain location, but migrates to wherever it can find food most easily. The great grey owl can be active both during day and at night.

PROTECTION

The great grey owl is a protected species on nature conservation areas.

ADAPTING TO THE WINTER

The great grey owl boasts a well isolating, thick plumage. With its excellent hearing it detects a vole from under the snow, catching it in no time into its mouth.

Great grey owl

Strix nebulosa lapponica

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SIZE: Weight: 660–1400g, wingspan: 135-160cm, females larger than males.

BREEDING: Female lays 4-5 eggs in April, incubation period: 28-30 days and nights.

LIFESPAN: According to ringing data, the oldest great grey owl has lived to 15 years of age.

Did you know that all owls have good hearing, but that of the great grey owl has developed even better? The plate-like facial features on the large head gather sound waves, transmitting them into the ears. The ears of the great grey owl are asymmetrical, and by turning its head the owl senses the slightest time difference caused by the ears on different levels. Sensing the time difference the great grey owl can detect the exact whereabouts of a prey even from under snow coverage of tens of centimetres.