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There's something magical about Great Gray Owls. While it may be hard pin point what it is that makes them so special - their expressive faces, massive size, silent flight, and remote, forest habitats all add to their intrigue. 

Couple this with their amazing hunting abilities and fiercely protective parenting, what's not to love? Did you know that Great Gray Owls can detect the movements of prey from over 320 feet away, under snow that is 17 inches thick? Once they've zeroed in; they dive, plunging through snow crusts that can support a 175 lbs human in order to reach their prey! The hunting strategies of Great Gray Owls are among the most impressive and unique in the world.

When you adopt a Great Gray Owl, you help fund our research on these incredible owls and the habitats they call home. Specifically, you help preservation efforts around the unique snags Great Gray Owls like to nest in. These old trees are a vital component of healthy forest ecosystems and are utilized by a host of species. This is one, specific way we can influence Great Gray Owl conservation. We hope you will join us in our efforts.




Your Great Gray Owl adoption helps ensure that our research on these owls continues. At the Owl Research Institute, we know that conservation efforts begin with reliable data. We provide this data and work hard to ensure that it gets to the right decision makers.


Our Great Gray Owl study is conducted out of many different study sites in western Montana. Travel to and from our sites, equipment, manpower, and data management are all costs associated with the Great Gray Owl study.

Your adoption helps cover these necessary costs, funding our work around this incredible species.


As a non-profit, we designed our adoption program to help fund research and conservation around specific species. Follow-up information about our Great Gray Owl research can be found in our annual newsletter, The Roost, which comes out annually between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you would like to receive a copy, let us know HERE >>.


All of our research is conducted on wild owls in their natural habitat. We keep no owls at the Owl Research Institute and are not a rehabilitation center. We are a field-based research institute with an emphasis on conservation and education.


We are enormously grateful to those who make the decision to support our work. The symbolic adoption program is a  new and unique way to donate to the Owl Research Institute and ensure that research on Great Gray Owls continues.



Our Great Gray Owls is entering its third year. Similar to other species projects, we are conducting long-term monitoring of nest sites, banding chicks, collecting data, and surveying new areas. In conjunction to our base study, we are also interested in learning more about their nesting needs.


Similar to cavity nesting owls, Great Gray Owls depend on very specific site characteristics in order to nest. While obligate cavity nesters need to find the holes of woodpeckers, natural tree holes, or nest boxes; Great Grays need to find large, broken-topped trees, called snags, or the abandoned nests of other large birds. When the owls nest on the tops of broken snags, the bowls have to be large enough to accommodate their massive size.


A special focus of our Great Gray project is to record the measurements of successful nesting snags. In doing so, we are developing a predictable model to easily identify, and manage for, these dead trees which provide potential nest sites. Snags are a critical component of all forest ecosystems and provide homes a myriad of species. Again and again, we find snags removed from otherwise ideal Great Gray habitat. In most cases, it is from lack of awareness and implications to the wildlife are not understood. As a result, public education is a key focus of this project.


As with all studies, sample sizes must be large enough for meaningful results, so we will continue to collect data for this special project. Do you know of a Great Gray nest? Please let us know. We are following up with as many leads as we can in order to grow our sample size. 

Additionally, if you haven't checked out the Great Gray Owl Cam, you are in for a real treat. Although the nest is currently empty, you can enjoy highlights from last season and get ready, hopefully, for the pairs' return! The Great Gray nest cam is made possible through our partnership with


The Owl Research is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit and runs entirely on donations. Every dollar helps. Your charitable gift keeps our research and conservation efforts going - we thank you for your support! Learn more about Great Gray Owls with the links below:


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