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Continued: Great horned owls: Silent hunters leave their mark

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  • Last update: December 31, 2013 - 1:17 PM

Great horned owls live everywhere in the Americas, from northern tree line to the bottom of the Western Hemisphere, Tierra del Fuego.

Given the known average population density of this owl in this part of the world, each pair probably has a territory of roughly 10 square miles. In theory, then, Hennepin County should be home to about 60 pairs of great horned owls.

Watch for large stick nests in now-leafless deciduous trees. Sometimes you will see a head poking from the nest. In winter months this is almost certain to be a great horned owl on eggs, or brooding young birds.

On cold nights in a quiet house, wait for the creeping awareness of an owl conversation in your neighborhood. Open a door and listen.

Lifelong birder Jim Williams can be reached at Join his conversation about birds at

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