Great Horned Owl: here’s the scoop


Great horned owls are common and widespread among their large range with very little threats to their existence.

Committed to Conservation

Cisco the great horned owl is an important member of the Zoo’s Animal Ambassador Program and currently lives behind-the-scenes. You may see him out with educators for encounters, special events or school programs. The animal ambassadors at Buttonwood Park Zoo are working ambassadors of their species and of their wild counterparts.  They stimulate interest and appreciation, dispel myths and fears, reconnect visitors with the natural world and stir all those they encounter to action.


Great Horned Owl

Scientific name

Bubo virginianus


Broad range of habitats including deciduous and evergreen forests, swamps, deserts, tundra edges, tropical rainforests, as well as cities, suburbs and parks.


Carnivorous. Feeding primarily on rabbits, skunks, and rodents. They may also prey on other birds, reptiles and amphibians.

life expectancy

15 – 25 years

Did you know?

Owls have 14 vertebrae in their neck. Humans, and even giraffes, only have 7 vertebrae. This allows an owl to turn their head almost 270 degrees in either direction. Because owls can’t move their eyes, they must move their entire head to follow the movement of prey.


North America, Central America and parts of South America

Conservation status

Least Concern

Widespread and abundant