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As pictured, this is a larger owl, second in size in North America only to the Great Gray Owl. It has feather tufts on its head which at times appear as horns, hence its name (2nd photo above).
This owl was initially spotted at the Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, AZ. It was perched on a room balcony rail. It seemed to have an interest in something on the balcony. The surrounding area is urban with some open desert and a golf course with pine, mesquite and palm trees. In talking to the resort staff, we were told that there is a nesting pair on the property, and they are usually spotted in early morning and evening hours. It hunts mainly at night. This owl according to sources can be found throughout both North and South America.
In researching for this post, it is noted this aggressive hunter has a varied diet…which includes animals one would expect including mice, rats, rabbits, and lizards in the Arizona desert. Of interest also are reports that it eats skunks and occasionally attacks porcupines (see Audubon Guide to North American Birds). If true, a porcupine/Skunk diet cannot always turn out well for either party.
Spotted on Mar 24, 2016
Submitted on Apr 11, 2016
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