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Patsy Pond Predator

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A fledgling great horned owl watches over the Patsy Pond Nature Trail in the Croatan National Forest near Newport on an early morning last week. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the great horned owl, sometimes referred to as a tiger owl, is the largest owl species in the state, so named because of the two prominent ear tufts of feathers that resemble horns. They grow to 18-25 inches and 3-4 pounds, on average, with females generally about 25% larger than males. They have a wingspan of 54 inches and prey on mammals as large as a woodchuck or skunk, birds as big as a Canada goose, insects, reptiles and amphibians.

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About the Author

Todd Miller

Todd founded the North Carolina Coastal Federation in 1982. A native of Carteret County, he was selected in 2013 as a distinguished alumni of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his undergraduate and masters degrees. Todd also received The Old North State Award in 2007, the National Wetlands Community Leader Award in 2012 and the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards' Hero of Seas Award in 2015. He is a founding board member of Restore America Estuaries, a member of the Board of Visitors for the UNC Institute for the Environment and chairman of the Policy Committee for the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary Partnership. As executive director, Todd formulates the federation’s goals and policy positions, serves as the federation’s spokesperson and provides staff and operations oversight.