Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Unusual Feeding Behaviour by Norfolk Island Boobooks

Staff at the Norfolk Island National Park and Botanic Garden have photographed unusual behaviour by Norfolk Island Boobook Owls. As this image shows, the birds are hunting in broad daylight - something unheard of with the Southern Boobook, the species to which the Norfolk birds belongs.
The hunting by Boobooks of large rodents is also regarded as highly unusual, as the species feeds primarily on insects.

The population of the Norfolk Island Boobook had been reduced to just one female until she bred successfully with two male Boobooks introduced from New Zealand. National park manager Coral Rowston reports that the population is now about 40.


  1. Wow! This is so interesting and exciting for me. I remember watching about the last one, alone calling at night, on Australian tv many years ago and didn't hear whether it had survived. It's so great that there are now 40, pure or not. Thanks for this news. Maybe the large prey is just an attempt to better themselves. Hope nothing is wrong anyway.

  2. The irony is that rats were one of the factors that led to the demise of the birds in the first place... so sweet revenge

  3. How incredibly interesting! Any idea on why they're doing this??

  4. They're not sure. It could be that these particular birds have adapted to feeding during the day, or that food shortages require diurnal forays. It appears that Boobooks do on occasion take prey as large as rats, so it will be interesting to see if the Norfolk Island birds do it on a regular basis