Great Horned Owl – Maggie

Name: Maggie – Female

Species: Great Horned Owl

Liberty Arrival: 2003/Nestling

Injury/Condition: Severe head and ear canal wounds

Maggie was found on the ground with severe head and ear canal wounds. They appeared to be talon marks, leading to speculation that a bird of prey, possibly a red-tailed hawk, had tried to take her from the nest and could not carry her. Maggie was transported to Liberty Wildlife as soon as she was found. Concern that her hearing, upon which these owls are vitally dependent, had been damaged, the medical decision was made that to ensure her survival, Maggie would be kept in captivity.

Great Horned Owl Facts

The great horned owl is found in North and South America from northern Alaska and Canada through Mexico to the tropical rainforest to Tierra del Fuego. It is one of the most widespread and common owls in North America.

Life span: Great horned owls can live more than 12 years in the wild.  Some captive birds have lived up to 29 years.

Prey: The owl’s diet consists of a wide variety of prey from raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, mice, snakes, insects, geese and other birds to the occasional cat or small dog. One of its favorite foods is the skunk, a slow-moving nocturnal animal with a large white stripe down its back like a neon sign that says to the owl, “Eat me!”.

Babies/Nests: Great horned owls do not build nests and either take over the abandoned nest of a hawk or other large birds or will simply lay the eggs in alcoves, tree hollows, abandoned buildings or even on the ground.  The female will lay 2 – 3 eggs on average and the young fledge in 45 – 55 days.