Great Grey Owl

New Forest Wildlife Park 2023 01

General information

The Great Grey Owl is a strikingly beautiful bird with silvery grey feathers all over with fine white and dark barring. This owl stands tall and looks to be very large, yet they are deceiving as their intimidating size is mostly due to an extremely thick layer of feathers.

With the largest facial disc of any owl, this tends to make its bright yellow eyes look small. This extra large facial disc directs sound to the feather covered ear-openings giving the owl super-sensitive hearing to locate prey. Like all owls it has soft feathers on the front edge of its wings to allow the silent flight necessary in hunting.

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Latin name - Strix nebulosa

Class - Aves

Order - Strigiformes

Family - Strigidae

IUCN Status - Least concern

Habitat - Boreal and coniferous forests

Distribution - Scandinavia across to Siberia, Alaska, Canada and NW America

Average Lifespan

12 years in the wild. 40 years in captivity


Habitat loss and collisions with cars.

Fun Fact

Its name is derived from the Latin “nebulous” meaning foggy or misty and the Greek ‘strizo’, meaning to screech.

Our Residents

We have a male names Malamute, who joined us from the Chestnut Centre (our sister park) in 2017.  He delights visitors as he watches over the smaller Go Wild and Education area.

NFWP Lowerres 07945

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