Top 10 Largest Owls in the World

Largest Owls in the World
Photo by Paul Ewing

Owls are fascinating birds known for their unique appearances and ability to catch prey in the dark of night.

There are different types of owls all over the world, and some are considered to be larger than others. This article will teach about ten of the largest owls in the world and their significance.

1. The Great Horned Owl

The great horned Owl is one of the largest owls in North America. It has a wingspan of up to five feet and can weigh up to four pounds. Great horned owls are found in the continent’s forests, deserts, and grasslands. 

These nocturnal predators hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They use large, sharp nails on their muscular feet to catch their prey. They have curved beaks with saw-like edges that allow them to tear apart their food. 

Great horned owls live between ten and twenty years. When they find a mate, they often nest near each other yearly. One of the largest owls in North America, these hunters mostly eat mice, rabbits, and squirrels. 

They typically live for about fifteen years. They are commonly found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. 

In Japan, this type of Owl is known as fukurou, which means Owl. In Finland, this type of Owl is called korppi, which means raven.

2. Eurasian Eagle Owl

The Eurasian eagle owl is one of the largest owls in the world. It has a wingspan reaching up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet). 

It’s found throughout Europe and Asia and typically preys on small mammals like voles and mice. But this powerful predator is also known to take down much larger prey, including foxes, hares, and even young deer. 

You’ll never forget if you’re lucky enough to spot one of these magnificent birds in the wild. They are most often active at dusk or dawn but may hunt during daylight hours when food is scarce. 

Like other large owls, they’ve mastered the art of silent flight so as not to alert their prey when hunting. They use their sharp claws to attack from above before crushing the animal’s skull with their strong beak. 

The Eurasian Eagle Owl mates for life and lays eggs in winter. Their eggs hatch about five weeks later, usually two or three chicks per clutch. 

The chicks leave the nest after about six months. They stay nearby for another six months until they are ready for flight.

3. Blakiston’s Fish Owl

The Blakiston’s fish owl is one of the largest owls in the world. It is a massive bird with a body length of up to 26 inches and a wingspan of about 60 inches. The Blakiston’s fish owl is found in Russia, China, and Japan. 

It preys on fish, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. The Blakiston’s fish owl is a protected species, and its range is shrinking due to habitat loss and degradation.

Other threats include hunting and trapping, especially its feathers used in traditional Asian medicines. A few natural predators exist, including Siberian tigers, leopards, and Japanese martens. Forest fires can also harm populations of this Owl as it requires old-growth forests with abundant water sources.

4. Verreaux’s Eagle Owl

The Verreaux’s Eagle Owl is one of the largest owls in the world. It has a wingspan reaching up to 2.8 meters (9.2 feet). These owls are found in Africa and Arabia and hunt during the day, preying on small mammals and birds. 

The Verreaux’s Eagle Owl has a white face with black eyes, and its plumage is mostly brown with white streaks. They have strong claws, which they use for tearing apart their prey. 

One major predator of this Owl is the Spotted Hyena. A group of these owls will attack a hyena if it is too close. However, the Hyena may be left injured by the encounter. 

When hunting smaller prey, the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl will use its paws to grab the animal before killing it. Its large size makes it a dangerous bird of prey.

5. Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl is a large white owl of the typical owl family. Snowy Owls are native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia.

Males are almost all white, while females have more flecks of black plumage. Juvenile owls are similar in plumage to adults. 

These birds hunt during the day and night. Snowy owls mainly eat lemmings, voles, red-backed mice, other small rodents, and birds. They will also feed on fish, frogs, and insects. They live about ten years in the wild and 12 years in captivity. 

Snowy owls mate for life and return to their breeding grounds yearly after migration. Females typically lay one egg every two years and incubate it for 30 days. Females provide more parental care, including brooding and guarding the nest against predators until they fledge at six weeks old. 

Females are much larger than males, with the average female weight at 2 kilograms versus 1 kilogram in males. The juvenile plumage resembles the adult. Their hunting area includes open tundra, rocky regions, taiga forest land, and agricultural fields. 

Predators include coyotes, eagles, great-horned owls, and other large raptors. Some people believe these owls were seen as messengers or harbingers of death in many Native American cultures. They could see them before anyone else when someone was going to die.

6. Powerful Owl

The Powerful Owl is the largest Owl in Australia and one of the largest owls in the world. It has a wingspan of up to 1.8m and can weigh up to 4kg. The Powerful Owl is found in forests throughout eastern Australia, from far north Queensland to southern Victoria. 

It preys on many animals, including possums, gliders, rats, bats, snakes, lizards, birds, and other owls. The Powerful Owl is a nocturnal bird that is most active at night. Unlike many species of owls, this type relies on hearing instead of sight when locating its prey. 

Powerful Owls can carry heavy prey items back to their nest for their young ones and as food for themselves. They have strong nails that they use to snatch up prey. However, these nails also make them vulnerable to predators such as the Tasmanian Devil.

7. Great Grey Owl

The Great Grey Owl is one of the largest owls in the world. It is a mighty bird with a wingspan of up to 2.3 meters (7.5 feet). The Great Grey Owl is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

It feeds on small mammals, such as mice and voles. The Great Grey Owl is a timid bird that people do not often see. It lives in forests with large trees that can support its weight. 

They usually hunt at night when they are less likely to be spotted. The prey animals will become frozen from fear when they hear the call of this Owl, which is an eerie sound. Some scientists believe they can see well in dim light because of special eye rod cells. 

One reason humans rarely see these creatures is because their feathers make them blend into their surroundings. These predators wait patiently for hours until their prey appears. 

Another characteristic of the Great Grey Owl is that it has two different types of vocalizations: short and long hoots. Scientists have discovered that these owls do not migrate but stay in the same area all year round, even during winter.

8. Barred Owl

The Barred Owl is one of the largest owls with a round head and dark eyes. It has a white chest with black bars, and its wings are long and broad. This Owl is found in wooded areas of North America, where it nests in trees. 

It hunts small mammals, such as mice and voles. The Barred Owl is nocturnal, meaning it is most active at night. Like other owls, the Barred Owl has excellent hearing that enables it to locate prey by sound alone. 

Its hearing is so good that it can detect the rustling sound of a mouse on the ground from up to 100 feet away! The barbed owls feed mainly on rodents but will also eat small birds or fish if they can catch them. They have been known to make their nest on power lines. 

Barred owls are one of the smaller types of largest owls. They can grow up to 25 inches tall and weigh about 2 pounds when fully grown.

 They live for nearly 12 years in the wild, longer than many other types of largest owls. Their feathers do not wear out quickly like many raptors.

9. Spotted Owl

The Spotted Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, with a round head and no ear tufts. It has large, dark eyes and a small beak. The upper parts are brown with white spots, while the underparts are pale with brown streaks. 

This Owl is found in woodlands across North and Central America and feeds on small mammals, birds, and insects. The Spotted Owl is slowly declining in numbers due to habitat loss. 

They may also be killed by vehicles, hunted for food, or trapped for their feathers. Other threats endanger the species, including increased human settlement, fire suppression, forest clearing, and timber harvesting.

10. Long-Eared Owl

The long-eared owl is one of the largest owls in North America. It has a wingspan of up to four feet and can weigh up to three pounds. 

The long-eared owl is found in wooded areas across the United States and Canada. It preys on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. 

The long-eared owl is a nocturnal bird of prey. It has large eyes and ears, which help it locate its game in the dark. The long-eared owl is a protected species in North America.

Conclusion

The Largest owls in the world are the Blakiston’s fish owl. It has a body length of about 26 inches and a wingspan of up to 60 inches.

 The second largest is the Eurasian eagle-owl, with a body length of about 24 inches and a wingspan of 58 inches. 

The third largest is the great horned owl. It has a body length of about 22 inches and a wingspan of about 56 inches. 

All three of these owls are found in Eurasia. North America’s largest owl is the great gray owl. It has a body length of up to 24 inches and a wingspan of up to 60 inches.

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