The great grey owl

Strix nebulosa

The great grey owl is one of our biggest owls. It can be found mostly in the northern parts of the country, but it also occurs in the middle part, and at times in southern Sweden.


A big grey owl with yellow eyes, the great grey owl has a 135-160 cm wingspan and a body length of nearly 70 cm. It is grey and has a proportionally large and round head. On the face you can see fine grey rings around small yellow eyes and a yellowish beak. It eats mostly small rodents. They like to fly low through open areas in search of their prey, such as a clearing in the forest, power line openings and meadows where they have a good view.

Great grey owls live in pairs and the female incubates a litter of 2-6 eggs alone. After 2 months of age the young are ready to fly. These owls don’t build their own nests, but usually take over nests from other birds of prey.

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Did you know that:

In recent decades, an increasing part of the known breeding, have been carried out in nests made voluntarily by people. In many cases these nests have replaced the natural twig nests and nesting tree stumps destroyed by logging.

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Class: Bird

Scientific name: Strix nebulosa

Conservation status: NT

Size: The Great Grey Owl is one of our largest owls, with a length of 65-70 cm and a wingspan of up to 158 cm, but the ”size” is mostly in the fluffy plumage and not in the body itself.

Weight: 900-1200 gram

Number of eggs: 2-6

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Conservation status

Near threatened
Near threatened

Read more about our other animals