The Great Horned Owl, so named for its large, distinctive ear tufts, is a southern Arizona resident, found in the Santa Rita Mountains.
Dark brown in color, the Great Horned Owl has gray to brown mottled upperparts while underneath the coloring is dark with bars. The face is rusty colored, while the throat and breast is white, with or sometimes without dark spots. Birds that live in northern states are paler in color and more on the gray side.
This large owl eats not only other large birds outside of its own species, but will eat other owls as well. Ingeniously, if they can’t finish a large bird in one meal, they will let it freeze if it is cold enough, and then thaw the meat with their own body heat to finish later.
While owls have a valuable role in the ecosystem, they frustrated efforts to reintroduce the Peregrine Falcon by eating both adults and chicks.
Reference: The Nature of Madera Canyon by Douglas W. Moore, Friends of Madera, 1999; Whatbird.com