Great Grey Owl

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) ©Peter K Burian at

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) ©Peter K Burian at

The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (Isaiah 43:20 KJV)

Peter K Burian at has given me permission to use this photo. Now, what am I going to tell you about it?

Those eyes look like it is in shock from seeing something. Or maybe he is telling a tale and getting very expressive as it is being told. I would like you to leave a remark and tell me your take on this photo. Or maybe one of you readers could come up with a short story about this? (Remember this is a Christian site.)

The Great Grey Owl or great gray owl (Strix nebulosa) is a very large owl, documented as the world’s largest species of owl by length. It is distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. In some areas it is also called Phantom of the North, cinereous owl, spectral owl, Lapland owl, spruce owl, bearded owl, and sooty owl

Adults have a large rounded head with a grey face and yellow eyes with darker circles around them. The underparts are light with dark streaks; the upper parts are grey with pale bars. This owl does not have ear tufts and has the largest facial disc of any raptor. In terms of length, the great grey owl is believed to exceed 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 most of the Bubo genus.

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) Cross section showing fullness of feathers ©WikiC

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) Cross section showing fullness of feathers ©WikiC

Much of its size is deceptive, since this species’ fluffy feathers, large head and the longest tail of any extant owl obscure a body lighter than that of most other large owls. The males are usually smaller than females, as with most owl species.

These birds wait, listen, and watch for prey, then swoop down; they also may fly low through open areas in search of prey. Their large facial disks, also known as “ruffs”, focus sound, and the asymmetrical placement of their ears assists them in locating prey, because of the lack of light during the late and early hours in which they hunt. On the nesting grounds, they mainly hunt at night and near dawn and dusk; at other times, they are active mostly during the night.

They have excellent hearing, and may locate (and then capture) prey moving beneath 60 cm (2.0 ft) of snow in a series of tunnels solely with that sense. They then can crash to a snow depth roughly equal to their own body size to grab their prey. Only this species and, more infrequently, other fairly large owls from the Strix genus are known to “snow-plunge” for prey, a habit that is thought to require superb hearing not possessed by all types of owls.

Here’s another photo of the owl by Peter K Burian.

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) ©Peter K Burian

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) ©Peter K Burian at

He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? (Psalms 94:9 KJV)

The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. (Proverbs 20:12 KJV)

GBNA – Guide to Birds of North America eField Guide: Great Gray Owl//

Order ~ Strigiformes — Owls
Family ~ Strigidae — Owls
Size ~ 27 inches (69 cm)
Abundance ~ Uncommon
Identification Tips
  • Very large, nocturnal, predatory bird
  • Yellow eyes appear small
  • Two white horizontal marks below chin
  • Long tail
  • Large, rounded head
  • Gray facial disks with darker rings
  • Large gray upperparts with paler barring
  • Pale underparts with large, dark irregular streaks
  • Sexes similar
Mnemonic ~ whoo-whoo-whoooo
This Great Grey Owl is another beautifully designed avian wonder from its Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. The eyes and ears of the owls allow these fantastic birds to live and survive.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 KJV)
Peter K Burian at
Great Grey Owl – Wikipedia
Great Gray Owl – All About Birds

3 thoughts on “Great Grey Owl

  1. Pingback: History Through the Eyes of Ogden Owl | The Right Word Makes All The Difference

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