On average, great horns lay two eggs, but they can lay one to five eggs. They usually only have one brood per season, although they will lay more eggs if the original clutch is taken or destroyed.
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It is actually very common for owls to use nests built by other species. Great horns also use cavities in trees, cliffs, and ledges for their nests. Great horns generally use one nest per year, as they cause a lot of wear and tear on the nest, although it is possible the they may use it again next year. It is also possible that the ospreys may return the next year and retake the nest.
On average, great horned owls incubate their eggs for about 30 to 37 days.
Young owlets start fledging around 6 to 8 weeks old.
Great horned owls are generalists and therefore eat just about anything. They have a wide range of prey, from small rodents, to large birds such as herons. A great horns diet consists of about 90% mammals,10% birds, and herptiles and insects. Owls also get moisture from their prey, so they do not have to drink often.
Great horns swallow small prey whole, bones and all. They have very strong stomach acid that breaks down the bones to extract important nutrients, and any indigestible parts of the prey are regurgitated as a pellet.