This magnificent Southern Boobook turned up in Welshmans Reef on Saturday morning.
The following series of poses highlight why this species belongs to the hawk-owl tribe (Ninoxini) within the family of typical owls (Strigidae). Unlike the other local Ninox species (Powerful Owl and Barking Owl), where the male is larger than the female, the sexes are of similar size.
In recent times the Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) has been separated taxonomically from the Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae). The latter is largely a Tasmanian bird with small numbers visiting mainland Victoria during autumn-winter, but mainly found coastally. The Morepork has bright yellow eyes and a spotted forehead – it is actually more closely related to the New Zealand Boobook than it is to our local Southern Boobook.
The bird pictured here is quite rufous toned … many of the field guides depict darker tones.
Many thanks to local resident, Lachlan McKinnon, for alerting me to its presence.