Barking Owls in Melbourne

To: Dave Torr <>
Subject: Barking Owls in Melbourne
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 16:13:23 +1000
Dave Torr wrote:

Not sure if you count Monbulk as a suburb, but I had it when I lived there in June last year - just one night and it was flying round my house for maybe 10 minutes "barking" - no way it could have been a dog from the movement!

Dave's record of a flying dog sounds plausible enough, but I do have my doubts about _some_ suburban Melbourne Barking Owl records of recent years.

Recently when doing some work at Montrose (not so very far from Monbulk), we used owl playback in a survey. Our Barking Owl taped call was heard by a local, and dutifully reported elsewhere as a Barking Owl record! Another resident's description of a Barking Owl barking turned out to be a brushtail possum coughing. I'm even more sceptical about records based on the 'screaming woman' call (see earlier e-mail on this list) - as I'm reasonably certain many of those are foxes, and some may be Masked Owls.

All of that said, there are some Barkers still hanging on in various bits of Metro Melbourne. I'd like to see a few more of them checked out and verified.


Lawrie Conole
Senior Ecologist
Ornithology & Terrestrial Ecology

Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
Flora and Fauna Consultants
88B Station Street
FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
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