General Description

Robust, medium-sized owl with a rufous-brown streaked pale front. Wings and back also rufous-brown with white spots. In eastern and southern Australia, areas of rufous-brown are greyish-brown. Large brown eyes with no distinct facial disc. White eyebrows. Strong yellow talons (claws). Males are up to 44 cm in height, while females are smaller to about 39 cm. Call a dog like "woof woof".


A nocturnal bird best known for its dog like "woof woof" call. In the evening it often performs in duet with a nearby partner. In southern areas they are known to give a long sobbing scream during the winter breeding season. They normally hunt at night in open areas for small to medium-sized mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. Mostly rests in the outer dense foliage of trees during the days, occasionally coming out late afternoon. They form permanent mating pairs often returning year after year to the same hollow to nest. They lay 2-3 dull white round eggs at the bottom of a tree hollow. In southern Australia their numbers have declined dramatically mostly due to habitat loss and degradation and competition from honey bees for tree hollows. However they remain relatively common in north Australia.


Across Australia.


Forest and woodland; however mostly absent from arid regions.

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