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Southern Boobook

From Opus

(Redirected from Ninox boobook plesseni)
Most likely subspecies boobookPhoto by julienEagle Point, Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia, January 2005
Most likely subspecies boobook
Photo by julien
Eagle Point, Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia, January 2005
Ninox boobook

Includes: Roti Boobook


[edit] Identification

25-36 cm (9¾-14¼ in), with females larger than males.
Upperside is brown with white spots, underside buffy or white with brown streaks or spots, quite variable. Around the eye is a dark area surrounded by pale feathering ("spectacles" or "goggles"), and eyes are pale greenish yellow.

[edit] Variations

JuvenilePhoto by Greg McKayCastlemaine Botanical gardens, Victoria, Australia, February 2010
Photo by Greg McKay
Castlemaine Botanical gardens, Victoria, Australia, February 2010

Race leucopsis from Tasmania have darker underside with white spots and yellow eyes, may occur in mainland Australia.
Race lurida (Red Boobook) lacks the white spots on upperside, have dark underside, seems to lack the pale spectacles, and show differences in song and song activity.

[edit] Distribution

Parts of Indonesia (Timor and southern New Guinea) and all of Australia.

[edit] Taxonomy

Southern Boobook is a recent split, it used to be together with Sumba Boobook and Morepork. Clements still lumps Morepork with this species.

[edit] Subspecies

Subspecies plesseniPhoto © by Mark HarperAlor, Indonesia, October 2018
Subspecies plesseni
Photo © by Mark Harper
Alor, Indonesia, October 2018

Between 9 and 11 subspecies are currently recognized in Southern Boobook, differing quite strongly in plumage. The most distinct subspecies is lurida (Red Boobook) which is a very dark form from north-eastern Queensland which may warrant full species status.

  • N. n. rotiensis: Roti (Lesser Sundas)
  • N. n. fusca: Timor (eastern Lesser Sundas)
  • N. n. plesseni: Alor (north of Timor)
  • N. n. moae: Moa, Leti and Romang islands (east of Timor)
  • N. n. cinnamomina: Babar Island (east of Timor)
  • N. n. remigialis: Kai Islands
  • N. n. pusilla: Southern New Guinea
  • N. n. ocellata: Sawu (Lesser Sundas) and Australia (except east coast)
  • N. n. lurida: North-eastern Australia (north-eastern Queensland between Cooktown and Paluma)
  • N. n. boobook: Coastal eastern Australia (north to southern Queensland)
  • N. n. leucopsis: Tasmania and islands in Bass Strait - included in Morepork by Gill and Donsker and split as Spotted Boobook by Dickinson

The subspecies rotiensis from Roti Island is sometimes considered a full species.

[edit] Habitat

Just about everywhere where trees can be found, including in towns.

[edit] Behaviour

Hides well during day but sits on bare branches etc at night sallying out to catch insects.

[edit] Diet

Their main diet consists of insects, but they also eat mice and other small mammals.

[edit] Vocalisation

The nominate form is known for its oft repeated call, a quick, falcetto "boobook".

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from
  2. Verbelen 2010. Asian enigma: First field observations of Ninox (novaeseelandiae) rotiensis on Roti island, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia. BirdingASIA 13: 85-89.
  3. Avibase
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2015)

[edit] External Links


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