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05/16/2016 10:21 AM EDT

The largest of the eared or tufted owls in North America, the great horned owl is a wonderful and fascinating bird. Covered in extremely soft feathers that insulate them against cold weather and help them fly very quietly in pursuit of prey, their short, wide wings allow them to maneuver among the trees of the forest. Rarely seen because of their camouflage coloring, their calls are familiar across the U.S. We wonder what this one is thinking. Photo by Dennis Demcheck, U.S. Geological Survey.

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