Southern BooBook - Reptile Encounters

Southern BooBook

Scientific name:

Ninox boobook

Other names:

Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae), Mopoke


Least Concern

  • Size: 25-36 cm in length with a wingspan of 60-90 cm
  • Weight: 170-300 grams
  • Plumage: Dark brown to grey-brown upperparts with white spots and streaks, and lighter, streaked underparts
  • Eyes: Large and yellow, characteristic of nocturnal birds
  • Beak: Hooked and adapted for a carnivorous diet

Carnivorous diet primarily consisting of:

  • Small mammals (e.g., rodents, bats)
  • Insects (e.g., beetles, moths, grasshoppers)
  • Birds (e.g., small songbirds)
  • Reptiles and amphibians occasionally

  • Prefers a variety of wooded environments:
    • Eucalypt forests
    • Rainforests
    • Woodland areas
    • Urban parks and gardens
  • Generally requires areas with dense vegetation for roosting and nesting

  • Widely distributed across Australia, including:
    • Mainland Australia
    • Tasmania
  • Also found in Papua New Guinea and some parts of Indonesia

  • Nocturnal: Active during the night, with hunting and feeding primarily occurring after dusk
  • Vocalizations: Known for their distinctive call which sounds like “boo-book” or “more-pork,” leading to some of their common names
  • Breeding: Nesting occurs in tree hollows, lined with leaves and other soft materials; breeding season typically from August to December
  • Territorial: Defend their territory aggressively, especially during breeding season
  • Roosting: During the day, they roost in dense foliage or tree hollows to avoid predators and disturbances
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