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Boobook Owl

Little but loud!

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A Boobook family abandons its soft, hypnotic resting call in favour of something a little more hard-core for hunting.

Description: The Boobook is the smallest Australian owl. It has dark brown feathers with spots of white and grey. Its eyes are often bright yellow. Females are bigger than males.

Diet: This bird is a carnivore and eats small mammals, birds and invertebrates.

In the wild: 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. 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.

Threats: Habitat destruction is the main threat to the Boobook Owl. With fewer trees available, they have nowhere to lay their eggs and raise their young.

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.

Nocturnal House
Scientific name
Ninox novaeseelandiae
Conservation status
Least Concern
Body length
23-36 cm
170-360 g
About 30 days
Number of eggs
Australia, including offshore islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Timor and New Guinea
Most habitats but prefers Eucalypt forests and woodlands

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Map of Perth Zoo highlighting the Nocturnal House