Animals / Types of Birds / Owls / Boobook or Morepork Owl - Mid-Flight Snatchers

Boobook or Morepork Owl - Mid-Flight Snatchers

ocher bellied boobook

Ocher bellied


The morepork or boobook owl is called that not because it eats pig or reads books but because that is what its call sounds like in the dark and dusky night. This owl is the most distributed in Australasia, mostly Australia (including Tasmania) and New Zealand but also Southeast Asia and New Guinea. The are stoutly built, some are dark brown and others lighter with spots, and there are some with reddish feathers and still others with yellowish ocher bellies.



morepork baby


boobook owl


The boobooks live in the forest, scrub lands, or the open countryside. They use caves for roosting and lay eggs in the hollows of trees or else in thick protected vegetation. Normally nocturnal, the boobook will go out hunting in the day on occasion, looking for rats, mice, lizards, spiders, insects and even small birds. Interestingly, the bird is very good at snatching insects and birds out of the sky as they go about their business in mid-flight.

More recently researchers have declared that the boobook of Australia to be a separate species from the morepork of New Zealand, which also has an alternate name of Tasmanian spotted owl. Scattered all about in Australia and the surrounding islands, there are about eleven sub-species of the boobook. There were additional two other sub-species that are now extinct.



Cinnibar boobook


morepork nestlings




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