Boobook …

Anticipating a hot day I got out early for my bird walk and had a fairly productive morning. After a swim I took refuge from the heat.

In the hottest part of the afternoon a visitor delivered the news that there was an owl near the front gate much to the annoyance of the small birds of the neighbourhood.

I hastened forth camera in hand, followed the protests of some White-plumed Honeyeaters and there he was …

Southern Boobook

I say he because it is quite a small individual. The females are larger. It puts up with the harassment of small birds with remarkable stoicism perhaps secure in the knowledge that it can take its revenge after dark. As well as small birds they also take mice and flying insects.

There are a number of subspecies (although what that number is varies from authority to authority). The chest marking of this character are typical of the race Ninox novaeseelandiae boobook.