Sunday, October 23, 2016

Of Owls

Last night I heard a sound coming from the tree in my front garden. You can hear it here. It's the call of the southern boobook. It's a medium sized brown owl found across most of Australia, also known as the mopoke because of its call.

I found this photo of a Southern boobook on the Pixabay website and I have to confess that I haven't ever seen one before although I've often heard them.

Saturday night's calls were the first time I've heard a mopoke for a while although I'm sure there are a number in the bushland around us - there are two golf courses with large areas of bush within a few minutes walk of where I live (one has a resident mob of kangaroos) and two bush reserves as well as a number of parks and wetlands no more than five minutes by car so there's plenty of hunting habitat.

Even more interesting than hearing the bird calling was what happened afterwards when I heard something that sounded vaguely like crickets but not quite right. In my trusty bird guide I was delighted to find that this was most likely a young owl because they make a cricket like call. Can't be positive, of course, since I didn't see the birds but I suspect we either have a nest in the tree which would be wonderful or, since it's breeding season, a parent had a newly fledged juvenile with it. Either way they are very welcome.

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