Cascades Raptor Center

Resident Raptor - Great Horned Owl

Lorax & Valentino

Lorax Lorax  Found on the ground April 4, 2005 in Pendleton when she was about 3 weeks old, this bird suffered several fractures to the right wing, as well as damaging the elbow and wrist bones, when she fell from her very high nest. The fractures to the radius and ulna would have been difficult to fix in an adult bird and nearly impossible in a bird this young, whose bones Loraxare still growing. Any injury to or near a joint almost always results in loss of mobility, as the healing done by the body results in calcium deposits that inhibit motion. Because of this bird's young age when coming into captivity, however, she is well socialized to people, which will minimize her stress levels.
(Lorax is glove-trained.)  Adopt Lorax

Valentino Valentino  This small, dark (and handsome) male came to CRC from the Mt Shasta region of Northern California. He had been illegally raised in the spring of 2009 and released at the home of his finders, where he continued to come for food or when called until the fall. When the finders were forced to leave that property, the relatives who were moving in threatened to shoot the bird. The owl was captured and turned over to a rehabilitator, who brought it immediately to us for assessment in September 2009. The bird is either a human imprint (we do not know exactly how young he was when found, but probably before his eyes opened) or too highly socialized for release. He still begs for food from people and would undoubtedly go looking for human contact if released - a dangerous proposition.
(Valentino is glove-trained.)  Adopt Valentino

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

This owl is named for its most distinctive feature -- large, wide-set ear tufts or 'horns' that give its head a cat-like shape. Females are larger than males, and the sexes look alike. The head is large, with feathering across the forehead that shades the yellow eyes into a fierce expression. The body is broad and bulky, the tail is short, and the talons are large and very strong. The wingspan of this owl is comparable to the wingspan of a large hawk. The largest of North American owls with ear tufts, and one of the largest owls on the continent, this owl is a fierce-looking predator. Four subspecies of Great Horned Owl are based on regional color differences ranging from very dark to very pale birds; there are also many intermediate types. Lorax The Pacific subspecies (very dark overall), is the one most commonly seen in western Oregon; the other three subspecies are the West Taiga (pale gray), the Southwest (darker gray), and the Eastern (tawny-orange face). This owl is swift and graceful in flight, moving with stiff, steady wing beats, with wings held mostly below horizontal; flight speeds up to 40mph have been recorded.


Size - Length: 22" ave. • Wing Span: 44" ave. • Weight: 3.1 lb. ave.

Status - State and federally protected.

Habitat - Has the widest range of habitat and climate variations of any North American owl; adaptable to habitat change. Lives in forests, open country, woodlots, riparian areas, deserts, city parks. May often be spotted roosting in the daytime, usually in a tall tree, close to the trunk.

Diet - Prefers rats and mice, but will eat a large variety of prey - mammals from the size of shrews to porcupines, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Primarily semi-nocturnal to nocturnal, but will also hunt in the daytime. Hunts from a high perch, making a short flight to capture prey once it's been detected.

Call - The Great Horned Owl will lean forward, lift its tail, and vibrate its white throat feathers when giving its characteristic call of five or six deep, resonant hoots: Whoo! hoo-Hoo-hoo,...Whoo! Whoo!

Nesting - This owl nests in trees, on cliffs, in caves, and sometimes on the ground. Will use abandoned hawk nests if these are available or, since it nests earlier in the season than hawks over most of its range, it will simply appropriate an attractive nest.

Most Common Problems - Collision with vehicles. Other common injuries include poisoning from rodenticides, gunshot wounds, electrocution from contact with powerlines, entangling in wire

  ANCA Member

Cascades Raptor Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Federal ID No. 93-1038827) dedicated to wildlife rescue and public education to enhance appreciation, respect, and stewardship of the natural world.


CRC logo art by Jeanne Hammond-Elliott.  Drawings by Barbara Gleason & Karl Edwards.  Photographic sources noted as provided.