I wouldn't worry about looking the goose Sean - when you say you are
no expert then you have a clear get-out clause.
I've only seen Boobooks in Qld and WA and the diurnally active posture
of the bird in the picture reminded me of the Barking Owl that comes
out in the raptor display at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. All
the Boobooks I've seen looked hunched and the bird in the picture
didn't appear to have the characteristic goggles.
[A non-Canadian Goose]
On 30/01/2008, at 12:00 AM, Sean Dooley wrote:
Hi Cheryl and Laurie,
I am afraid I have to disagree with Laurie on this one. For while I
claim not to be much of an owl expert, I am pretty confident that
this is a
I am not exactly sure what Laurie means by the shape of the head,
particularly as you don't get a great idea of the shape from the
the shot, but to me it has a typical nuggety look, characteristic of a
Boobook. Barking Owl supposedly has a more elongated posture but what
clinches it for me is the pattern down the front. In a Boobook it is
a spotted pattern like this bird, especially on the chest, whereas a
has fairly uniform streaks on its underside. The colour seems too
the front for a Barking, which to my mind tend to essentially be a
a white underside with dark streaks, while a Boobook appears more
brownish bird with white marks.
Even though there is no real way to judge the size of this bird, it
seem powerfully built enough to be a Barking. The feet also don't
seem to be
powerful enough. Though not as massive as say, a Masked Owl, the
feet of a
Barking would look bigger than they do on this bird. And even though
hard to judge true colour in such strong light, I think a Barking
would appear much brighter yellow than this bird's feet.
With the angle, you can't really see the dark goggles that are
a Boobook, but you do get an impression of them around the bird's
And you also get a slight sense of the white x across the face that
typical of a Boobook.
This has little to do with confirming the ID but Barking Owl is
around Melbourne, indeed throughout Victoria. There are still recent
of Barking in outer Melbourne, but Boobooks, while not exactly
far more regular in the suburban area, especially along the Yarra
pair known to have bred in recent years in Kew, and a non-birding
mine saw and photographed a Boobook on Saint Patricks Cathedral in
last winter. At first he thought it was a particularly life-like
I hope that others can prove me correct, or I will look like a right
On Behalf Of L&L Knight
Sent: Tuesday, 29 January 2008 10:29 PM
To: Cheryl Ridge
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Owl near Melbourne - is this a Boobook?
I'm not an owl expert Cheryl, but I can say that it is definitely a
Ninox and it looks like a Barking Owl to me - particularly the shape
of the head. Regards, Laurie.
On 29/01/2008, at 5:36 PM, Cheryl Ridge wrote:
I photographed an owl near Melbourne yesterday:
If someone could id it for me I would be most grateful
as I have only seen and photographed the Powerful Owl
in the wild.
I am keen to see other owls so if anyone knows of any
'reliable' places near to Melbourne (not zoo) Id love
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