Q: What are the major differences between Eurasian Eagle Owls and Great Horned Owls?

-asked by blightowl

A: Good question! They can appear very similar, as they are both within the same genus Bubo, but there are some differences. First, you’ll only find Great Horned Owls in North and South America, while Eurasian Eagle Owls are found in Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. Telling them apart is another story. Great Horned Owls have yellow eyes, a very solid brown facial disc with a darker edge around the disc, and thin horizontal bars across the stomach. Eurasian Eagle Owls, however, tend to have orange eyes (though can be yellow), a lighter brown facial disc without a border, and thick vertical lines along the stomach. They are also lighter in color than Great Horned Owls.

Here’s a Great Horned Owl:

and here is an Eurasian Eagle Owl: