Great horned owls are one of the largest of all owls in North America. They are the heaviest of the species, and the most formidable. They have powerful talons with the most impressive grip strength of any owl and they are capable of killing even a medium sized mammal by breaking its spine with their feet. Great horned owls prefer rabbits but they feed on rodents and other birds, even preying on other owls occasionally. Their contribution to the delicate balance of the food web is crucial as they keep the rodent population in check. Capable of near silent flight, they are skilled hunters, with stealth that is unmatched. This baby owlet is beyond adorable as he wakes up and yawns in the early morning sunshine. His mother has been out hunting for breakfast. She and her mate have been feeding their baby for several months, keeping him warm in the harshest weeks of winter. Great horned owls nest earlier than other owls and they work hard to protect their eggs and babies from the elements in the coldest stretches of winter. This baby is getting ready to fly. He meets his mother on the branch and he watches carefully as she opens her wings and takes flight.