Great Horned Owl

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“Bubo virginianus. Great Horned Owl. Hoot Owl. Cat Owl. Distinguished by its large size and conspicuous ear-tufts, our other species of similar stature being tuftless or nearly so. Plumage varying interminably, no concise description meeting all its phases. A white collar on the throat is the most constant color-mark. On the upper parts, the under-plumage tawny, but so overlaid with course mottling of blackish and white, that it shows chiefly on the head, nape, and scapulars; the mottling chiefly transverse, and resolving into 7-9 continuous or broken bars on the wings and tail. Under parts white, indefinitely tawny-tinged, and for the most part barred crosswise with blackish, changing on the fore breast to ragged and rather lengthwise blotches. Feathering of feet nearly plain tawny. Ear-tufts black and tawny; a dark mark over eye; border of the facial disc black, the face white or tawny, but the feathers mostly black shafted. Bill and claws black; iris yellow; pupil always circular; when fully dilated as large as a finger-ring, contractile to the size of a pea.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: M-O


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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