Great horned owl is intensity, power, fire and earth. It is defined by action, feels alive in aggression, is prey to nothing.
For this owl, flight is about strength. Great horned owl is all muscles, pushing downwards against air, against the wind with exertion and the subtle flicking of feathers. Wings are symbols of power, not freedom. Flight is for survival, find the prey, and dive with silence and speed born of strength. Talons clench, crushing bones. Beak snaps necks, tears into flesh, while the filoplumes feel the tickle of fur and the tongue feels the hot blood. Swallowing whole, until the facial disk fluffs forward and an ache comes from the belly. The bones fall to the base of the tree. Owl lives on the graves of those who give it life.
Gripping a rough branch, beak preens feathers, gently rearranging the prickling shield against the cold winds. Ear tufts perk at surprise, flatten when aggressing. Head turns and bobs to locate the rustle. The owl hears the world as much as sees it, keeping an image in the mind of the world based on sound. Location is judged by the change in sound at the turn of the facial disk. Sight drawn to motion, the rustle of leaves, a pigeon taking off is a sensory bombardment of motion and noise. Its relationship with its mate kept strong with calls as much as mutual preening.
Owls can be sensitive, and have been known to die of grief after a mate is killed. Great horned owl reacts with anger to pain. Annoyed easily, it threatens at the mobbing of crows. It is devoted to persons and places, territorial and possessive, stubborn. Owl takes itself very seriously. It attacks intruders without hesitation, and will eat any other owls it kills.
The great horned owls call is an omen of death to many cultures. It is the only species of owl recorded killing a human.