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Photo: Ringing in winter with a majestic great gray owl

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Well hello, winter. We thought we'd greet your arrival with this remarkable great gray owl, photographed by Christina Anne M.

Strix nebulosa is the world's largest species of owl by length, which in part accounts for its impressive presence. Known as the phantom of the north in Scandinavian myth and folklore, these storied creatures are also known as the cinereous owl, spectral owl, Lapland owl, spruce owl, bearded owl, and sooty owl. Regardless of what you call them, they seem a perfect fit for the year's shortest day and a long winter's night.

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