Great horned owls are noted for their large ear tufts. These ear tufts do not aid in hearing, but can be used to show expression and as camouflage. Their hearing is acute and the ears are beneath the facial feathers, and are positioned unevenly in order to better pick up sound. Owls also have distinctive facial disks, which help to direct sound toward the ears. Their large eyes are fixed in the skull, making it necessary for them to rotate their heads in order to change their view. The flight of an owl is almost silent, which allows an owl to fly towards its prey without detection. They are powerful, nocturnal hunters feeding on a variety of prey such as rabbits, rodents, other small mammals, and birds. Great horned owls are one of the few animals that regularly include skunks in their diets. In the wild, the great horned owl is a top predator. Great horned owls are found throughout much of North America and like all other birds of prey, they are fully protected by federal regulations.
Date of Birth: February 1987
Scruff came to the WNC Nature Center in April of 1987. Scruff was orphaned at a young age and sustained a wing injury, most likely from a car accident. She cannot be released into the wild because she cannot fly and lacks survival skills.
What Makes Scruff Unique? Scruff has laid eggs before, but they were not fertile so she did not have baby owlets.