The Boobook Owl Whitsundays
The Boobook Owl, also known as the Spotted Hawk Owl, is common and abundant throughout Australia, being found all over the mainland and on many offshore islands, including the Whitsunday Islands and surrounding region. While its habitat is wide and diverse, including tropical forest, farmland, grasslands or urban areas, it is most commonly found in temperate woodland areas such as those surrounding the Whitsundays.
Generally nocturnal in habits, the Boobook Owl can be hard to spot during daylight, owing to its brown, mottled plumage. When threatened, the Boobook Owl will sit upright and turn side on to the approaching threat. By tucking its feathers tight against its body it will appear long and slender in order to deter an attacker.
The prey of the Boobook Owl varies greatly between individual birds and their surrounding habitat. They have been known to prey on small mammals and other birds, as well as flying insects, snatched on the wing. The Owl usually hunts from low perch such as a branch, roof or fence post. Occasionally it will forage at ground level for insects and rodents.
Small in size, growing only to around 35 centimetres in length, The Boobook Owl is Australia’s most common and widespread owl. They are a common sight in and around the Whitsunday Islands, where they can be seen roosting in the trees along bush walks and trails, or sometimes flying between the dense foliage.