RE: Southern Boobook

Subject: RE: Southern Boobook
From: "Conole, Lawrie" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:51:43 +1000
> It sounds very much like leucopsis, an autumn-winter migrant to south
> eastern Aust (Vic SA and rarely NSW) from Tasmania.  Assuming you picked
> it
> up recently it is a very late record. Museum of Vic has specimens
> collected
> between early April and late June and I have one sight record from
> Wilson's
> Prom Vic on the 23 June. In addition to rich chocolate brown breast boldly
> spotted (not streaked) white (never? buff) other characters useful in
> identifying this sub-species are size (markedly smaller than boobook
> although the measurements aren't handy at the moment), generally darker
> chocolate plumage all over c.f. boobook, yellow to yellow orange eyes, and
> usually fine white spotting or flecking towards the back of the head and
> extending onto the neck.
The bird described by Pat sounds very much like the Tasmanian brand of
Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae leucopsis, as Rohan has confirmed and
amplified.  I documented some winter records of birds I identified as
'leucopsis' in the Otway Ranges of SW Victoria during winter in the early
1980s (see:  Conole, L.E. (1985).  The distribution and status of owls
(Aves; Strigidae & Tytonidae) in the Geelong-Otway district, Victoria.
Geelong Naturalist 22: 3-17.).  I'm still unsure whether there could be
construed to be a regular trans-Bass Strait migration, or whether odd birds
make the trip in some years, or whether the variation in Victorian Boobooks
includes the 'leucopsis' type.  Whatever; as Peter has stated, please get
the specimen to the museum so that another fragment can be added to the

Lawrie Conole
Pascoe Vale South, Victoria

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