January Photo of the Month: Great Grey Owl

This stunning photo of a Boreal Forest resident that doesn’t head south for the winter was sent in by Hamilton, Ontario resident Jean Crankshaw. Thanks for sharing this with us, Jean!

The Great Grey Owl is the provincial bird of Manitoba, as well as the largest North American owl in overall size. With its copious covering of feathers, it is particularly adapted to the extreme cold weather of the Boreal region.

Distinguished by its grayish brown color, white throat and black chin, it conspicuously lacks ear tuffs. The Great Grey’s breeding range covers a large swath of the Boreal Forest from the Pacific coast to as far east as the Great Lakes.

Its hunting style, characterized by deep plunges into the snow to capture scurrying voles and mice, is particularly suited to the lighter and colder snow of the far north. These hunting dives can be spotted in the snow by the tell-tale imprint of the Great Grey’s large head framed by its wings. Its deep, booming hoot, which can drift several kilometers on a still evening, signals the territory or home of this magnificent species.

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