"birding Aus" <>
Wed, 8 Nov 00 10:34:32 +0000
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)
Ph/fax 08 89818492
PO Box 39373
WINNELLIE NT 0821, AUSTRALIA
2ndhand and new books
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