Southern Boobook family

Subject: Southern Boobook family
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 21:15:14 +1100
Hello all,

I'm fortunate at the moment to have a family of Boobooks lodging in the backyard (in Toronto, Lake Macquarie, south of Newcastle). I believe they nested in a large Spotted Gum next door, but are using our backyard as the creche. For about a week there were two fledglings roosting in different trees each morning. Then a third fledgling joined them and they began to use a large Spotted Gum that is choked by a giant bougainvillea, about 20 metres high. They've been using the bougainvillea for a bout a week now along with one of the parents. The other parent only occasionally roosts with the family.

At dusk the young'uns fly to nearby trees and chitter continually while the parents frantically fly back and forth bringing as many large insects as they can find.

The adults are very dark red in colour, similar to the colouration of the Red Boobook subspecies from the Atherton tableland. One bird has virtually no white markings on the face at all while the other has a small patch of white between the eyes. However, both birds have far more white spots on the shoulders and wings than Red Boobooks that I've seen.

While on Red Boobooks I might mention a Red Boobook that I photographed in rainforest at Kuranda SF (Clohesy Fig Tree) in May this year. It had some features that definitely made it a Red Boobook however it had some features of the nominate subspecies as well, including some white markings on the face. I think that they must be a very variable species and I'm a little doubtful about the distinctiveness of the Red Boobook.



Mick Todd
Toronto, NSW, Australia

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