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"The adult is 40–63 cm (16–25 in) long with a 96–125 cm (38–49 in) wingspan. Weight in this species is 500 to 1,050 g (1.10 to 2.31 lb). It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes. It is the only typical owl of the eastern United States which has brown eyes; all others have yellow eyes. The upper parts are mottled gray-brown. The underparts are light with markings; the chest is barred horizontally while the belly is streaked vertically. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons"
"Breeding habitats are dense woods across Canada, the eastern United States, and south to Mexico; in recent years it has spread to the northwestern United States, having gradually spread farther south in the west. The species is particularly numerous in a variety of wooded habitats in the southeastern United States. " I came across this owl in the creek, deep in the woods, behind my house. She was watching me intently, and kept flying closer to me. Watch the video. https://youtu.be/i8Jz3360T94
I had the distinct feeling that this owl was about to dive-bomb me, as if she were protecting her nest. "In winter owls establish territories, build nests, and rear young. During this period, adult birds may engage in belligerent behavior, such as attacking creatures many times their size. In this case, the owls are simply trying to protect their homes, their mates, or their young."