Also known as the tiger owl and the hoot owl, the great horned owl is a rather large member of the Bubo genus found throughout north and south America. In fact, the great horned owl has such a large population that it's believed to be the most widely distributed owl in the Americas. History: The great horned owl was and is an important symbol in many north and south American cultures. Some native American tribes revered them and depicted them as symbols of strength and courage, while others believed them to be spirits of slain warriors. Members of the Zuni tribe even carried feathers of the great horned owl in their mouths while hunting or fighting, hoping to inherent the owl's stealth. Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus Characteristics: The name hoot owl actually comes from the distinctive and famous hooting sound the great horned owl makes. Size: Measuring 5.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall.