The Great Horned Owl, named for its ear tufts, is the largest owl in the area. Its call is the familiar "Hoo hoo-hoo hoo hoooo." They become active at dusk and hunt through the night. Large birds to begin with, a great horned owl can capture and kill prey 3 times heavier than its own weight — including housecats and small dogs.
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2007-05-12 17:37:02 I saw the Great Horned Owl in April along the East Davis greenbelt, west of Mace Ranch park. It was sitting up in a tree hooting. —AlexPomeranz
2008-04-18 21:15:16 A Great Horned Owl is also heard pretty frequently near the Domes, Orchard Park, and Russell Park. It roosts in the Oaks that line Orchard Park Drive and often hunts in the community gardens and fields behind the Bike Church. —E.O'B.
2008-04-18 22:08:45 I think I've heard the East Davis owl mentioned above several times, in the vicinity of Donner and Pole Line. I saw large owl flying overhead one night in March 2008, just below tree-top height. —DukeMcAdow
2009-08-27 On the way to work this morning, I saw what looked like a large owl lying dead between lanes on Covell. I hope I'm wrong. —DukeMcAdow
2008-09-22 11:23:03 I thought I heard one of these creatures last night at Russell Park... but maybe it was just one of the many drunk freshmen out on the street. —susiekim
2010-03-15 19:33:30 A great horned owl swooped down and snatched cyclist Levi Leipheimer's Chihuahua, Trooper. The dog was presumed to have been killed. Their other dog was attacked and left bloody. It is best to keep small dogs indoors at night. —MaxLucas
2010-03-15 21:29:10 I heard one this evening, along Putah Creek just south of the airport. —JimStewart
2010-06-01 21:58:59 Our neighbor found a baby great horned! On the corner of 8th and Oak, so it may have fallen out of the willow tree there. It was the cutest/most beautiful/most fearless little thing ever — grey and puffy, and with HUGE eyes. Lucky to have seen it. Now it's recuperating well at the campus Raptor Center. —jmofro
2012-06-15 23:03:12 a thin all white cat disappeared Monday - June 11, 2012 from the apartments behind the shopping center on Lake Blvd. in West Davis. I often hear the horned owls fly by in this area - they make a clicking sound. Could the owls possibly have taken the white cat? I think an all white cat would be especially visible in the dark. Please advise. —nanturner
Great Horned Owls are certainly capable of catching a cat, though it would be difficult for them to fly away with it. They're known to eat other small mammals like skunks, but given the abundance of rats, mice, birds, frogs and everything else in Davis they're probably more inclined to go after prey that doesn't have retractable claws. Cars, coons, dogs, and other cats are more significant threats. — mikeycrews
2014-03-17 00:16:45 I heard and saw one shortly after midnight near Sycamore Park, perched atop a tree. It was pretty majestic with its silhouette against the moonlight. — AlexTK