Bubo virginianus & Corvus brachyrhynchos
Pen & Ink
The Great-horned owl (Bubo virginianus) & American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) have an adversarial relationship that is built into their very DNA. Though the owl is naturally camouflaged with its pattern of complex markings and sleeps within or near the tree trunk during the day to maximize its camouflage, the crows often give away their hiding spot. Large murders of crows can often be spotted harassing the owl while it sleeps, taking turns dive-bombing the sleeping predator. This behavior increases during breeding season when crows are actively protecting their young. Great-horned owls are opportunistic hunters, and often eat the crow hatchlings or adult crows if they happen upon them. Owls do not actively hunt this species. Tufts of feathers form horns on top of their heads. These "plumicorns" often express their mood, laying flat when agitated and standing erect when the owl is calm.