How to Draw a Great Horned Owl

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Great Horned Owl in 7 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Great Horned Owl.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Great Horned Owl - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Draw the head by drawing three sides of a rough square, making parts come out for the ears. The top half of the head should be thinner than the bottom.

Step 2: Draw circles inside of ovals for the eyes, and the circles should be at the top and center of the ovals. Add a semi-circle on the right side of the face, and a diagonal line above the left eye. Use semi-circles to define the ears and have to curved lines meet below a small diamond for the beak.

Step 3: Draw the wings continuing from the head, using a rough and rounded triangle. Add the shown design to define the feathers.

Step 4: Draw the body with a line moving down and to the right.

Step 5: Draw the leg coming from the body. Make pointed hooks for the talons.

Step 6: Draw the tail from the wing. Separate the feathers using vertical lines. On the far right, draw a triangle with a rough edge on the right side.

Step 7: Draw the other leg from the tail, making sure to also draw hook-like shapes for the talons. Some of the leg should be hidden by the tail. Your Great Horned Owl is now done!

Interesting Facts about Great Horned Owls

Great horned owls live in North America and certain regions of South America. They are one of the birds of prey (birds that hunt for their food). They typically snatch their prey while in mid-air by using their powerful talons.

Did you know?

  • Great horned owls are about 18 to 25 inches in size. Their wingspan is about 5 feet wide.
  • Fully grown male great horned owls are about three pounds; females are about a pound heavier.
  • Great horned owls eat squirrels, skunks, and hares. Their diet also consists of rodents, fish, geese, ducks, and pigeons.
  • The average lifespan of great horned owls is 5 to 12 years in the wild. Great horned owls in captivity have a longer lifespan, living for more than 20 years.
  • The population of great horned owls is more widespread than any other owl species.
  • Great horned owls are very protective of their young. They sometimes attack humans who get too close to their nests.

Great horned howls are nocturnal, like almost every owl species. They have large eyes that help them see in the darkness. When it is completely dark, their keen sense of hearing helps them navigate their surroundings. Also like other owls, they can swallow their prey whole.