The Boobook owl Ninox novaeseelandidae is the smallest and most common owl in Australia. It has dark brown feathers with spots of white and grey. Its eyes are often bright yellow. Females are bigger than males.
The Boobook is renowned for its acrobatic skill in catching invertebrate prey such as moths, beetles, spiders and crickets. Rodents, small bats, frogs and birds are also targets.
Like many Australian birds, Boobooks build nests in hollow trees, living together in families, usually two parents with about three younger owls. They also roost there during the day, coming out only at night. They are often found in the suburbs where they feed on the introduced House Mouse.
Did you know?
The female Boobook is fed by the male whilst she incubates the eggs. When the chicks fledge and the family starts hunting together they change their call from the commonly known ’woo hoo’ call to a sound more like that of a giant cricket. This call seems to keep the family in contact with each other.