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This large owl's size is partially attributable to its fluffy feathers. Still, it is a very impressive bird of prey. Its head is large and rounded. Predominant color is gray or grayish brown.
Generally associated with boreal forests. In some winters when prey populations crash, these big birds head south in what is known as an "irruption", in an attempt to find food.
I got this photo In the winter of 2004-2005 during a massive irruption of northern owls, which occurred in Minnesota and other northern states. Usually I see one or two on winter days in northern Minnesota when looking for them. That particular winter I was seeing up to 65 of these birds a day. They are not particularly afraid of humans and cars so photography can be very good. However, that lack of fear also led to many being hit by cars as the owls hunted along roadways.