Migrating Boobooks

To: <>, <>
Subject: Migrating Boobooks
From: Michael Ramsey <>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 10:27:20 +1100
They certainly look different to Boobooks I have seen on the mainland.
More like a very small Powerful Owl.
Thanks for the interesting pictures.

Michael Ramsey

> Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:06:49 +1100
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Migrating Boobooks
> Hello all,
> I have a question re Southern Boobooks in Victoria, in particular
> Tasmanian Boobooks in Victoria.
> In Victoria the Southern Boobook is represented by the subspecies
> Ninox novaeseelandiae boobook, while in Tasmania it is represented by
> the subspecies N. n. leucops. The Victorian Boobooks have been
> described as being mostly streaked on the chest and with the iris of
> the eyes being greyish-green. Note that there is a considerable degree
> of variation in Boobooks on the mainland which could certainly cause
> some confusion.
> In Tasmania, boobooks are generally darker more uniform chocolate
> brown, with a brown underneath with white spots under and also spots
> on the wings. The iris of the eyes is bright yellow. They are also
> considerably smaller in size (contra Bergmanns Rule). You can see some
> photos of Boobooks from Tasmania and New South Wales on my website,
> see below (or you can just go to and follow
> the relevant links):
> Just copy and paste the address above into a browser.
> My experience so far has made me feel that Tasmanian Boobooks look
> quite distinctive although I haven't compared any museum specimens at
> this stage. There have been some reports in the past of Tasmanian
> Boobooks regularly migrating to the mainland, mostly Victoria but
> occasionally New South Wales as well. Mees (1964), reported on it
> quite matter-of-factly in his review of Australian owls. He mostly
> dealt with museum specimens, most of which were in overseas museums,
> but classified a reasonable number of owls in Vic as having come from
> Tas. He even identified an owl specimen collected in Sydney as a
> Tasmanian Boobook. He also referred to an owl having been collected 50
> km offshore of Tasmania near the Hunter Islands. Lawrie Conole reports
> having seen some owls in the 1980's in the Otways with yellow eyes.
> If Tasmanian Boobooks do migrate regularly to the Australian mainland
> I believe this would make them the only owl migrant in Australia. Note
> that there are a number of owl species that regularly migrate in North
> America. Note also the regular migration of other bird species between
> Tas and the mainland including Silvereye, Grey Fantail, Satin
> Flycatcher, Blue-winged Parrot, not to mention the breeding endemics
> like the Swift Parrot, Orange-bellied Parrot.
> So my question is: Can anybody else tell me whether they have seen
> what they believe to be Tasmanian Boobooks in Victoria (or NSW for
> that matter), and if so can you tell me how they were identified?
> Cheers
> Mick Todd
> References:
> Mees, G.F. (1964) A revision of the Australian Owls (Strigidae and
> Tytonidae), Zoologische Verhandelingen, 65 i: Supp p 1-62.
> -- 
> --
> Michael Todd
> PhD Candidate
> School of Zoology,
> University of Tasmania
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