I went for a walk at the Rise and Shine this afternoon just after a brief storm had passed through. There was a lot of bird activity, as is often the case after rain. My attention was drawn to the canopy where a cacophany of harsh honeyeater calls indicated that ‘something was up’. The focus of their attention was a Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae. Owls and raptors often elicit this type of response from small birds.
I watched the Boobook for some time and then heard further alarm calls nearby. Sure enough I discovered the rest of the family, two downy young and the other parent, perched close together and motionless in the top of a Long-leafed Box. You can just make out the second juvenile at the top right of the photograph below.
Boobook Owls nest at the bottom of tree hollows and usually lay 2-3 eggs. The young fledge after about a month. These young birds were still quite downy and signficantly smaller than the adults indicating that they may still be spending some time in their nesting hollow.