Great Horned Owl Size: Explained & Compare With Other Birds

Great Horned Owl Size

One time I was on a trip to Arizona and I saw a Great Horned Owl near a swampy area. 

I was surprised to see how big they’re in person and trust me online images don’t do justice to their sizes.

So In this article, I’ve tried to explain the Great Horned Owl size. I’ve covered all the size-related aspects in detail and also compared them with other similar birds.

Great Horned Owl Height/Length: How Tall Are They?

Great Horned Owl Size

Owls are perceived to be small birds but when you see them closely you’ll realize that they’re quite tall. 

Talking about height the Great horned owl shows sexual dimorphism, males and female of this species are different in size.

The length of the Great Horned Owl is mentioned below in different units. 

Length In Centimeter Length In Meter Length In Inches 
Great Horned Owl46 – 641.3 – 1.4 m19 to 35

The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl found in North America, on average it is between 18 to 25 inches (2 feet) long. 

Great Horned Owl Weight

The Great Horned Owl is one of the owls which has a lot of furs on its body, resulting in it being slightly heavier. 

Additionally, the female ones are heavier than the male. On average the female Great Horned Owls weigh between 1.6kg (3.545 lb) while the male ones weigh 1.2 kg (2.698 lb). 

When compared to other Owls such as the Barred Owl, Snowy Owl, and Burrowing Owl, the weight difference would look something like this:

Male (grams and pounds)Female (grams and pound)
Great Horned Owl1,224 g (2.7lb)1,608 g (3.5lb)
Barred Owl681 to 800 g (1.5-1.7 lb)718 and 744 g (1.5-1.6lb) 
Snowy Owl1,706 to 2,426 (3.7-5.3lb)2,101 g (4.6lb)
Burrowing Owl140–240g (0.3-0.5lb)

From this, we can see that the Snowy Owl is one of the heaviest as it has the most amount of fur on its body. While the Burrowing Owl is the lightest. The Great Horned Owl is not as heavy as the Snowy Owl, it still has quite a weight. 

Great Horned Owl Wingspan 

The great horned owl is known to be one of the largest owls in America. The great horned owl is the biggest owl in Central and South America, although it does not have the longest wingspan. The wingspan of a great horned owl is roughly 4.6 feet (1.4 meters). 

When compared to other Owls such as the Barred Owl, Snowy Owl, and Burrowing Owl, the wingspan difference would look something like this:

Wingspan Cm Wingspan Feet/Inch
Great Horned Owl91 to 153 cm3 ft 0 in to 5 ft 0 in
Barred Owl96 to 125 cm38 to 49 in
Snowy Owl146.6 cm4 ft 10 in
Burrowing Owl50.8–61 cm20–24 in

While the largest wingspan is of the snowy owl, the smallest is of the Burrowing Owl. The wingspan of the Great Horned Owl as you can see it in between the others. 

Great Horned Owl Talon Size

Great Horned Owls are aggressive and strong predators capable of taking huge prey, including raptors such as Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, Ospreys, and other owls. They also devour smaller animals including frogs, rats, and scorpions. 

Talons of the Great Horned Owl may be up to 3 inches long and can apply up to 300 lb/in2 of power. In a nutshell, these owls are lethal predators. 

Great Horned Owl Egg Size

Like most other owls, Great Horned Owls do not build their own nests. Instead, they will frequently take over an old raptor’s stick nest.

The egg of the Great Horned Owl is about 2.1-2.2” (5.3-5.6 cm) in length and 1.8-1.9” in breadth (4.5-4.7 cm). 

Great Horned Owl Size Comparison To Human

The Great Horned Owl as we know by now has a length of around 2 feet and a wingspan of  4.6 feet.

Compared to an adult human size with an average size of 5.5-5.9ft, the Great Horned Owl is very small. However, if we compare it with the wingspan the bird would not really seem small. 

Great Horned Owl Size Compared To Bald Eagle

If we compare the Great Horned Owl with other species such as the Bald Eagle then, Great horned owls do seem small. 

Overall Bald eagles have an upper hand in every size-related aspect.

Following is the comparison chart between the Great Horned Owl and the Bald Eagle on the basis of their height, weight, and wingspan.

Great Horned Owl2 feet1.2 – 1.6 kg4.6 feet
Bald Eagle2.5 to 3 feet3 – 6.3 kg5.11 feet and 7.7 feet

Barred Owl Vs Great Horned Owl Size Comparison 

Now that we have a detailed understanding of the height, weight, and wingspan of the Barred Owl, we can now use our understanding to compare it with other types of owls such as the Great Horned Owl. 

Firstly, if we look at the difference in height or length between the Barred Owl and the Great Horned Owl then the average height of the Great Horned Owl is greater than the Barred Owl. 

Average height Cm Average height Feet 
Great Horned Owl60 cm2 feet
Barred Owl55 cm 1.8 feet  

Secondly, talking about the mass of the two types of birds, the average weight of a Barred Owl is 630 – 800 g and the weight of the Great Horned Owl is 1400 g. The Great Horned Owl here too has won with its greater mass. 

Great Horned Owl630 – 800gm (1.3-1.7lb)
Barred Owl1400gm (3lb)

Lastly, if we compare the size of the wingspan of both types of owls, then it is quite clear that the Great Horned Owl has a bigger wingspan than the Barred Owl. 

Wingspan in Cm Wingspan in Feet
Great Horned Owl140.2 to 153 cm4.5-5 feet
Barred Owl96 to 125 cm3.1-4.1ft


That was everything you need to know about the great horned owl size. I hope the article was informative enough and you got something useful from it.

Thank you for reading!

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