Welcome to no 15 of 16 Reptile Roadshow Animal Profiles – Australian Boobok Owl – celebrating 16 years of Reptile Parties and Events
- Latin name – Ninox boobook.
- Native to mainland Australia, southern New Guinea, Timor and the Sunda Islands.
- Southern Boobook is the smallest owl on the Australian mainland and is the continent’s most widely distributed and common owl.
- It is identified by its plumage, which is dark chocolate-brown above and rufous-brown below, heavily streaked and spotted with white. The bill is grey with a darker tip, and the feet are grey or yellow. The facial disc is chocolate brown and the eyes are large and yellowish.
- Young Southern Boobooks are almost entirely buff-white below, with conspicuous dark brown facial discs.
- Southern Boobook is nocturnal
- Southern Boobooks are seen in a variety of habitats from dense forest to open desert.
- Southern Boobook feeds on insects, small mammals like the House Mouse and other small animal species. Feeding takes place mostly at night but some afternoon and morning activity may occur.
- prey is detected by listening and watching from a suitable tall perch. Once detected, flying prey, such as moths and small bats, are seized in mid-air, while ground-dwelling prey animals are pounced upon.
- The Southern Boobook’s nest is normally a tree hollow, which is usually sparsely lined with wood shavings, leaves and small twigs, but may be left bare.
- Its unmistakable boo-book song is well known in Australia.
- An owl’s eyes are fixed, so it cannot move its eyes from side to side as a person can; if an owl wants to look at something off to one side, it has to move its entire head. But what the owl can do, thanks to specialized neck bones and muscles, is move its head rapidly, far to either side, increasing its field of vision to 270 degrees. That’s almost 3/4 of a circle.
- Owls have a highly developed auditory (hearing) system. The ears are located at the sides of the head, behind the eyes, and are covered by the feathers of the facial disc.
- Southern Boobook owls have a lifespan of around 15 to 23 years
- They grow to a weight of 170 to 300g and have a wingspan of 70 to 80cm
- Our Boobok owl has now passed away due to old age
Reptile Roadshow celebrates going strong since 1999. We hope you enjoyed this animal profile. This reptile is just one of many you can see at Reptile Roadshow events.
Make sure you checkout the other animal profiles on our blog.