(Ninox boobook)

Length:  30-36 cm Common

An immature owl was found by one of our members, Baxter Hook, near the 10th tee beneath a large Tuart tree. It was about to be attacked by Ravens. Baxter took it into “Protective Custody”. It was reared by an animal rescue organisation for a while, but it was discovered to have a deformity of its legs which prevented it from catching prey and it died. This Southern Boobook is often referred to as a “mopoke” because of its call. It is the smallest, most abundant and most widespread of the Australian owls. It is not often seen and the chief evidence for its presence is its characteristic call. Boobooks roost during the day in dense foliage. They live in pairs with a territory of about 10 hectares. When disturbed, the bird sits bolt upright, presses its feathers tightly against its body and turns side on to appear long and slender. The Southern Boobook eats small birds, mammals, moths and insects. Most feeding is done after dusk and before sunrise. Both sexes are similar. The back and body is brown with white spots. The eyes are large and round. The irises are yellow and the feathers surrounding the eyes are darker brown. Breeding occurs between August and January. The next is in a deep tree hollow. Two to four eggs are laid. The female feeds the young with food brought to her by the male. The young fledge in 5 to 6 weeks and continue to be fed by both parents.