Re: Barking Owls to be listed - Victoria & NSW (Aust.)

To: <>, "Martin O'Brien" <>, "David James" <>
Subject: Re: Barking Owls to be listed - Victoria & NSW (Aust.)
From: "Philip A Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 17:51:13 +1000
I remember a meeting of Queensland Ornithological Society back about
1980-83, when someone brought along a long tape recording of a pair of
Barking Owls. It was played at the end of the meeting. A certain little dog
called Rags (who usually attended the QOS meetings) with its owner, who I
think was Mary Whitmore, responded quite dramatically to the recording and
everyone there got a great giggle from it. I have heard Barking Owls making
a sort of growling noise as well as the R WOOF WOOF.
-----Original Message-----
From: David James <>
To:  <>; Martin O'Brien
Date: Tuesday, 7 July 1998 11:55
Subject: Re: Barking Owls to be listed - Victoria & NSW (Aust.)

>At 13:45 6/07/98 +1000, Martin wrote:
>>I have heard the dog-like call in the northern Victorian plains and at
>>first I was convinced a small dog was nearby, have any others recent
>>experience of these amazing calls?
>Barking Owl is a relatively common woodland Owl around Townsville. I heard
>a pair duetting the "dog-like" bark on dusk in the riparian forest along
>Stuart Creek (a local reveg site) on Saturday. This call is a double note
>or nearly a tripple note "er-rook rook" or "r-rook rook" When they duet the
>males usually lead and the females follow in a slightly higher pitch after
>the males have finished their double note; the dueting increases in speed
>and urgency as it proceeds and the females begin to overlap with males (as
>if they get each other worked up), ending in a garble of barks. Every now
>and then I've woken in the middle of the night to hear this in a tree over
>the house. Fantastic!
>I've encountered Barking Owls scores of times around Townsville and
>elsewhere (as I'm sure have many birders in the north) but, apart from the
>"dog-like" bark I have only ever once heard a different call: this was a
>blood curtling scream. In my experience Barking Owls are not as diverse in
>their vocalisations as the literature suggests, or at least calls other
>than the bark are rarely given. Like Martin I'm interested to know if
>anyone knows much about their other calls.
>David Geering Wrote:
>>What is likely to happen to these birds, and the many Little Eagles, when,
>>and if, the rabbit numbers crash in this valley.  Their traditional small
>>mammalian prey is long extinct.
>Around Townsville, It appears that Barking Owls mainly eat insects
>(especially beetles) and birds (like Rainbow Lorikeets, Magpie-larks, and
>Tawny Frogmouths). A paper by Kavanagh et al. (1995) ("Diet and Habitat of
>the Barking Owl Ninox connivens" in NSW". Aust Birdwatcher 16: 137-144) at
>eight sites in NSW, lists insects, birds, juvenile rabbit, juvenile
>brush-tailed possum, Sugar glider, micro-bats and black rats. At Glen Alice
>they recorded  rabbits, black rats, starlings, parrots, passerine
>egg-shell, and beetles.
>If rabbits disappear (IF) it may not be all doom and gloom for Barking
>Owls. Not that I am advocating complacency, high order preadators are in
>trouble the world over, but Barking Owls may well face bigger threats from
>habitat destruction (including tree-clearing, over-grazing and rabbit
>damage) than from rabbit control.
>David James
>PO BOX 5225
>Townsville Mail Centre 4810

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