masked owls

To: "birding Aus" <>
Subject: masked owls
From: Goodfellow <>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 00 10:34:32 +0000
Hello All
Even in the hand the pale form of Masked Owl and Barn Owl are similar.  
The two birds I examined were of similar size (34 cm).  and build, and 
both had dark grey-brown feet and lower legs.  While the talons were 
larger than Barn Owl's the feet didn't appear much bigger.

Both were pure white and slightly spotted underneath.  Upperparts of the 
Masked Owl were more heavily patterned with dark chocolate brown and 
white markings, and larger white and tan spots..  Facial disks of Masked 
Owl were rounder and slightly more heavily marked around the edge than 
Barn Owl's.  The Masked Owl did have a much larger, more strongly hooked 
beak and was more heavily coloured around the eye sockets.  Incidentally 
this specimen was 'melvillensis' - I don't know how similar the Kimberley 
bird is.  But neither that bird nor the dark form I saw  closely 
resembled the Masked Owls illustrated in Pizzey.  

Great sightings of Bush-hen recently with half a dozen running around the 
reedbeds at Holmes Jungle.  I went back last Friday night for another 
look with a friend and then found my key wouldn't open the gate.  The 
locks have been recently changed so anyone with an old key be careful!  

Denise Goodfellow (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
Specialist Guide
Ph/fax 08 89818492
PO Box 39373

Parap Bookshop
2ndhand and new books
08 89813922

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