Surniinae, Tribe Ninoxini
Strix boobook Latham, 1801, Sydney area, New South Wales. Tentatively, ten subspecies are recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Boobook owl, streaked boobook, northern boobook, Australian boobook, red boobook, dark boobook owl; French: Ninoxe d’Australie; German: Boobookkauz; Spanish: Nмnox Australiano.
9.8–14.2 in (25–36 cm). Female, 11.1 oz (315 g). Male, 8.8 oz (250 g). This owl takes its name for its most common call, a repeated double hoot that sounds like “boo-book.” It has a round head with an indistinct facial disc, white eyebrows, and eyes that vary in color from yellow to hazel. Upperparts are dark brown with white spots. Underparts are whitish with reddish brown streaks and spots.
Australia, southern New Guinea, Roti, Timor, Alor, Let, Moa, Babar, and Kai Islands.
Very varied habitat, including dry and wet forests, semi-arid deserts, and farmlands.
Mainly sedentary. The most southern races may winter farther north. Largely nocturnal, but partly crepuscular.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Mainly insectivorous, but also takes small birds, mammals, reptiles, and bats, especially during the breeding season. Hunts from a perch in forest clearings and edges.
Nests in cavities, both natural and in man-made structures. Lays three to five eggs. Incubation is about 30 days. Chicks fledge at about five weeks. Young stay with parents for up to three months after fledging.
Not globally threatened. Widespread and generally common throughout most of its range, but vulnerable to habitat destruction that destroys preferred nesting sites in tree hollows.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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