Masked Owl

Subject: Masked Owl
From: allan benson <>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 12:16:35 -0800
While driving home from the movies last night (10/3/01), my wife spotted
an owl in a tree beside the road at the corner of Glen Rd and Fern Rd
Ourimbah, on the Central Coast of NSW. We backed up and observed a Tyto
species owl perched on a branch about 4 metres above the ground. The owl
was about 30-40 cms long with a pale face with a distinct black margin,
pale on the breast and underbelly and dark brown on the back. We were
observing the bird from the car from only 6-8 metres. Although I was
reasonably sure of the ID, I drove home and got my spotlight and
binoculars and returned 10 minutes later to find the bird in the same
spot. In the spotlight the black margins on the facial disc were clearly
observed as well as the chocolate brown of the back. The owl stretched
its wing at one stage the shown the patterning in the wing. There was no
doubt it was a Masked Owl. The owl perched for the 10 minutes we had it
under observation, just turning its back to the spotlight.

Owls are reasonably common in this part of the Central Coast. Boobook
and Powerful Owls are heard regularly at my house and a Sooty Owl that
had a radio tracking device attached was found to use this area.

For anybody wishing to look for the owl at the above location, please be
careful as the road is narrow with little space to park or even get off
the road when walking and this is a surprisingly busy road- even at


Allan Benson
8 Sherston Close Niagara Park NSW Australia 
Phone  61-243- 627189

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