Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).
Okay, so you know how owls have those fucked-up bat-necks that bend literally every which way they could want? Well, they do that because their skulls look like this:
Those bony tubes mean they can’t turn their eyes*, so they have to turn their heads.
Anyway, great horned owls are one of the biggest North American owls. They’ve got a wingspan of five feet and can weigh almost six pounds. They’re also one of the most widespread in terms of territory, and one of the most adaptable in terms of environment.
Their plumage is wildly variable, but the three biggest tip-offs are their tufty ear-looking things, their huge fucking feet, and their bruiser-class size.
I mean, seriously, just look at this bird’s fucking feet.
They’re capable of killing shit they can’t even carry with one strike. Much like the fisher cat, they’re also clever enough to use the outdoors in the great frozen north as a sort of super-convenient meat-locker; prey too big to be consumed in one sitting or carried off will be left to freeze, and the owl will come back later to eat more.
They’ve been known to take sizable prey, up to and including small alligators, mid-ranged porcupines, and fucking great blue herons. (If you don’t think there needs to be an iconic t-shirt with a fucking owl flying off with a goddamn alligator in its claws, I don’t know what to say to you.) So far, we haven’t caught them flipping porcupines back over to freeze for the extra fuck-you security measure of getting quilled by something that’s already dead if you try to rip off the owl’s stash, but it’s probably only a matter of time.
*Yes, that’s right. Owls are incapable of silently expressing sarcasm without making little jerk-off motions with their feet.