Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa; originally Great Cinereous Owl/Strix Cinerea)
This, the largest North American owl, is a denizen of the dense conifer forests from Hudson Bay to Alaska. There are also small outpost populations in the western mountains south to northern California and Colorado. Its eyes are remarkably small for its large, puffy head and are dwarfed by the large facial discs. A black chin-spot is bordered by white patches that look very much like large white moustaches. Only rarely do stragglers drift in winter to the Great Lakes and New England, probably when there is a shortage of rodents on their home turf.
During the winter of 197879, northern New York and New England experienced the largest invasion of these big owls in 90 years. Birders by the thousands added the great gray to their life-lists.