Camouflage of Great Horned Owl


The great horned owl is still hanging around the main part of the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge in perfect camouflage among the dormant trees. While his dead cotton wood tree is now long gone, he’s not far from it.

These owls ear tufts are so distinctive. I’ve never heard it call or its deep, stuttering hooting. I have experienced him flying over low several times while I was hiking in the area looking for other birds.

Did you know that this year-round species to North American has three distinct color patterns depending on their locations? Great horned owls in the Pacific Northwest are more of a dark sooty color.  If they are living in the Southwest they tend to be paler and grayer. If they reside in subarctic Canada they can be almost white.

Get out and explore your national wildlife refuges. You never know what you’ll encounter.


Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography