6 Largest Owls In The World: Everything You Need To Know

  • Reading time:10 mins read
  • Post last modified:April 25, 2022

great horned owl

If you are an owl enthusiast like we are, you undoubtedly have a variety of methods for categorizing the many owl breeds so that you can keep track of them.

Habitat and location are excellent methods to categorize, but size is another interesting factor to consider, and for the time being, we will look at few of the largest owls breeds in the globe.

For each breed, we’ll give you with a brief synopsis outlining the most intriguing elements of each one, as well as a photo to assist you in becoming more knowledgeable about each one.

6 Largest Owls In The World

1. Great Horned Owl

Wingspan: 37–60 inches

Location: North, Central, and South America

Great Horned Owl

In the United States, as well as in many countries of Central and South America, the great horned owl is a common bird that may be seen across the country. It has a large wing span that can reach 60 inches and is closely related to the snow owl, despite the fact that it appears to be quite distinct.

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Even though it is capable of moving from one location to another, it is more likely to spend its entire life in a single location due to the markings on its body. It is possible for these birds to fly at speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour, and they are one of the more aggressive breeds on our list.

2. Snowy Owl

Wingspan: 37–60 inches

Location: Canada, North America

Snowy Owl

Despite the fact that it is slightly larger and has distinct markings than the Great Horned Owl, the Snowy Owl is closely related to it. There are numerous sightings of this bird throughout the day and at night, and it has a magnificent wingspan that frequently exceeds 5 feet.

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They can travel from Northern Canada all the way down to Pennsylvania, so if you live in the very northern United States, you have a good chance of seeing them at some point.

Due to their pale coloring, they are ideally suited to the cold and snowy environment. They also prefer perches that are closer to the ground than other owls.

3. Great Grey Owl

Wingspan: 50–62 inches

Location: North America, North Asia, and Europe

Great Grey Owl

The Great Grey Owl is significantly larger than the Snowy Owl, and it is at this point that we begin to see some very massive birds, with wingspans exceeding five feet in width.

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In Canada, North Asia, and Europe, the Great Grey Owl is a cold-weather bird that can be found in large numbers throughout the winter months. You might also get lucky and witness it in one of the United States’ more secluded regions.

It, like most owls, has exceptional hearing, which it may utilize to catch prey that is hidden more than two feet below the surface of the snow.

4. Barred Owl

Wingspan: 37–49 inches

Location: United States

Barred Owl

The Barred Owl is the very first large owl on our list, and it is also the most common. It has a wing span that ranges from 37 to 49 inches, or more than four feet. This owl can be found practically anywhere in the eastern United States, as well as in many regions of northern Canada.

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It is considerably smaller in size than the great horned owl, but it is far less hostile in its behavior toward humans. While these owls are most active at night, you may also encounter them during the day. They prefer to grab prey by flying low through the woodland, which makes them easy to spot.

5. Eurasian Eagle Owl

Wingspan: 60–74 inches

Location: Europe and Asia

Eurasian Eagle Owl

When fully grown, the Eurasian Eagle Owl can have wingspans of more than six feet across, making it one of the largest owls on the planet. It can be found throughout Europe and Asia, but in order to see one in America, you must purchase one from a breeder who specializes in them.

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Although populations are small, they can thrive in a variety of settings and can be found in greater numbers in locations where there are fewer humans. They are most active shortly after dark, and they will choose certain locations to visit on a regular basis in order to sing songs for you.

6. Blakiston’s Fish Owl

Wingspan: 60–76 inches

Location: China, Japan, Northeast Asia

Blakiston's Fish Owl

The Blakiston’s Fish Owl is the largest of all the owls, measuring over two feet in length. It is similar in appearance to the Eurasian Eagle Owl, however it is often slightly larger and considerably heavier in appearance.

They do not have the down-covered feathers that allow them to fly silently like most other owl species because they capture fish out of the water, unlike most other owl species.

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Unfortunately, the Blakiston’s Fish Owl is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Wildlife, and experts estimate that there are fewer than 200 of these birds left in the world today.

Take Away Message

The Blakiston’s Fish Owl, which may be found in China and Japan, is the world’s largest owl and is the world’s largest bird of prey. Unfortunately, it is also the species that is most at risk of extinction if we are unable to find a method to halt the current downward trend.

The Eurasian Eagle Owl is the second largest owl in the world, but you won’t find any of them in the United States.

During the winter months in the United States, we must hope that we will be fortunate enough to view the third largest, yet exceedingly elusive, Great Grey Owl or the fourth largest Snowy Owl.

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