How To Attract Great Horned Owls?


Here are some tips to attract Great Horned Owls to your yard:

  1. Install a nesting box: Great Horned Owls like to have nest platforms in live trees from 15 to 45 feet above the ground.

    Place the nesting box in hardwoods (not conifers) that are at least 12 feet off the ground.
  2. Provide a secure location: Install nesting boxes to provide owls with a secure location to set up home.
  3. Don’t prune large branches from trees: Owls prefer to nest in trees with large branches, so avoid pruning them.
  4. Put outdoor flood lights on timers: Owls are nocturnal, so they prefer to hunt in the dark.

    However, outdoor flood lights can help attract prey to your yard, which in turn can attract owls.

    Set the lights on a timer to turn off after a few hours to avoid disturbing the owls.
  5. Provide bird baths: Owls need water to drink and bathe, so providing a bird bath can attract them to your yard.
  6. Mow the lawn less often: Owls prefer to hunt in areas with tall grass and shrubs, so mowing the lawn less often can give them a more appealing hunting ground.
  7. Create a brush pile: Owls are attracted to areas with rodents, so keeping a brush pile can attract rodents to your yard.

Remember, attracting owls to your yard is not a guarantee, but these steps can make your property more desirable and safe for them


What Are Some Specific Habitat Requirements Or Environmental Factors That Can Help Attract Great Horned Owls To An Area?

Great Horned Owls can be found in a wide range of habitats, from deserts to deciduous forests, from pampas to prairies, from tundra to tropical rainforest, and from mangroves to mountains.

They are one of the most widespread raptors in North America and can be found in practically all habitats, including forests, woodlots, streamsides, open country, and swamps.

Great Horned Owls usually gravitate towards secondary-growth woodlands, swamps, orchards, and agricultural areas, but they are found in a wide variety of deciduous, coniferous, or mixed forests.

They especially thrive in fragmented edge habitats and exhibit adaptability in human-dominated landscapes.
In terms of specific habitat requirements, Great Horned Owls require some trees or heavy brush for cover during the breeding season and avoid tundra and unbroken grassland during this time.

They typically nest in trees such as cottonwood, juniper, beech, pine, and others, and usually adopt a nest that was built by another species.

They also use cavities in live trees, dead snags, deserted buildings, cliff ledges, and human-made platforms.

Great Horned Owls often roost in conifers or dense deciduous trees that offer concealment during daylight hours.

Are There Any Specific Calls Or Vocalizations That Can Be Used To Attract Great Horned Owls? If So, How Can One Effectively Mimic These Sounds?

Great Horned Owls have a distinctive hooting call that can be used to attract them.

According to the National Audubon Society, people say that the Great Horned Owl’s hoot sounds like it’s saying, “Who cooks for you?”.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website provides several examples of Great Horned Owl sounds, including hoots, screams, and barks.
To effectively mimic the Great Horned Owl’s hoot, one can try to replicate the rhythm and pitch of the call.

The male and female hoots are slightly different, with the female’s being slightly higher pitched.

It may take some practice to get the hoot just right, but listening to recordings of the call and trying to replicate it can be a good starting point.

Are There Any Particular Types Of Prey Or Food Sources That Are Especially Attractive To Great Horned Owls, And Can Providing These Increase The Likelihood Of Attracting Them To A Specific Location?

Great Horned Owls eat a varied diet depending on their location, but they prefer small mammals and birds.

Some of the specific prey they eat include rabbits, hares, rats, mice, squirrels, opossums, skunks, raccoons, and birds.

They have also been known to eat insects, fish, crustaceans, carrion, and even scorpions.

Great Horned Owls are top predators and play an important role in controlling populations of prey animals and maintaining balance in ecosystems.
Providing food sources that are attractive to Great Horned Owls can increase the likelihood of attracting them to a specific location.

However, it is important to note that feeding wildlife can have negative consequences and is often discouraged by wildlife experts.

It can lead to habituation, where animals become too comfortable around humans and lose their natural fear, which can be dangerous for both the animals and humans.

Additionally, feeding wildlife can alter their natural behavior and disrupt their ecological roles in the ecosystem.

Therefore, it is important to consult with local wildlife experts before attempting to attract Great Horned Owls or any other wildlife to a specific location.

Helpful Resources