Great Gray Owl

(Strix nebulosa)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Great Gray Owl


N4 - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Rare and local year-round resident. Occasional irruptive.


Forest clearings, open meadows, spruce and poplar stands adjacent to bogs, fens, and meadows.


24 to 33 in length

54 to 60 wingspan












Unlike most owls the Great Gray Owl is primarily a diurnal hunter. It is relatively unafraid of humans.





Strigiformes (owls)



Strigidae (typical owls)

Subordinate Taxa

Lappland Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa lapponica)

North-American Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa nebulosa)










Visitor Photos
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Ramona Abrego
  Great Gray Owl   Great Gray Owl
Laurie Wachholz
  Great Gray Owl    
Mike Smith
  Great Gray Owl    Photos
  Great Gray Owl   Great Gray Owl
  Great Gray Owl    




  Great Gray Owl
Brendon Lake
  Great Gray Owl  

A set containing photographs of Strix nebulosa, or the Great Gray Owl.




Visitor Videos
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Other Videos
  Great Grey Owl

Uploaded on Apr 20, 2008

The Great Grey Owl is completely silent in flight and the male is often found hunting around fields, seemingly oblivious to people around him. The female is seen less often as she prepares for nesting and relies on the male to deliver food.

  LAPPUGGLA Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) Klipp - 1

Uploaded on May 31, 2010

Lappuggla i Västmanland. Våren-April-2010. Great Grey Owl in Sweden. AROS FILM Fotograf: Gunnar Fernqvist.

  Great Grey Owl - Strix nebulosa

Uploaded on Oct 2, 2010

Finding a Great Grey Owl in the forest is pretty rare especially with all the logging going on. See or video of the type of logging being conducted around British Columbia and imagine all the different wildlife that is being impacted.

The Great Grey Owl or Lapland Owl, Strix nebulosa, is a very large owl, distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. In some areas it is also called the Great Gray Ghost, Phantom of the north, Cinerous Owl, Spectral Owl, Lapland Owl, Spruce Owl, Bearded Owl and Sooty Owl.

In terms of length, the Great Grey Owl rivals the Eurasian Eagle-owl and the Blakiston's Fish Owl as the world's largest owl. The Great Grey is outweighed by those two species as well as several others including both the Great Horned (Bubo virginianus) and Snowy (Nyctea scandiaca) owls.

The harvest of timber from the Great Grey Owl's habitat is, perhaps, the greatest threat to this species. Intensified timber management typically reduces live and dead large-diameter trees used for nesting, leaning trees used by juveniles for roosting before they can fly, and dense canopy closures in stands used by juveniles for cover and protection. If perches are not left in clearcuts, Great Grey Owls cannot readily hunt in them. Although human-made structures (made specifically for use by this species) have been utilized by these owls, the species is far more common in areas protected from logging.

  Sophisticated sonar of wild owls hunting in the arctic forest - BBC wildlife

Uploaded on Apr 7, 2008

Watch the predators team analyse the keen sense of hearing and ideal hunting body shape of the owl. Their satellite-shaped head means that the penalty for rustling is almost always death. Watch some of the most amazing animals on the planet with BBC Worldwide.

  Untamed Americas - Great Grey Owl
National Geographic

Published on May 7, 2012

Untamed Americas : STARTS SUN JUN 10 at 9P et/pt :

From way above in the wintry treetops, Great Grey Owls can hear a teeny tiny vole digging underneath the snow.




Visitor Sightings
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Ramona Abrego

Location: Hinckley area

Great Gray Owl

Mike Smith

Location: East Bethel MN

Great Gray Owl


Moose Road, Nemadji State Forest

Pine County Roads 31, 32

Sax-Zim Bog




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