Recently, I have heard several people mention that particular species
duetting. Since I am currently writing a short article on the topic I
would be very interested in learning how many Australian birds duet.
There is, of course, the Eastern Whipbird and someone recently mentioned
the Magpie Lark although I have never personally heard this species duet.
Dr. Wm. James Davis, Editor
Interpretive Birding Bulletin
On Tue, 7 Jul 1998, David James wrote:
> 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.