The Secret Life of an Owl

It is easy to assume that we know all there is to know about what are regarded as common species. Recently as part of a Basalt to Bay Landcare Network fox program monitoring program, a remote sensing camera was set up to record fox activity on a sheep carcass.

Unexpectedly the camera shows that a Southern Boobook Owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae) is using the site to hunt for prey insects and (possibly) rodents coming to the carcass.
As it turns out this footage shows behavior few knew about before and is a great example that there is still a lot to learn about even the species we think are plentiful.
The Boobook is the smallest and most common owl in Australia but many landholders probably still don’t know what it looks like. Many will refer to the “Mopoke” which is another name for the owl, as the call is often heard. Unless you go walking at night around your property you may not know what makes the call. Click here for another video and owl calls.
The owls nest in hollows which is another reason to protect your old trees, and they feed on insects and small mammals such as mice. They mainly feed at night and catch flying insects and bats but also pounce on ground dwelling insects and small animals.
For all enquiries and copyright permissions contact Lisette Mill, Landcare facilitator – basalttobay@gmail.com

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