Adelaide Zoo

Animal Facts

  • Genus:

    Ninox connivens
  • Conservation

    Least Concern

  • Found In:

    Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea

Meet the Barking Owls!

Fluttering along the peasantry path, you’ll find Adelaide Zoo’s two beautiful Barking Owls, Owlbert Einstein and Owl Pacino.

These medium-sized hawk owls have an explosive, dog-like bark that can be heard all year round. When alarmed, the call changes to a loud scream that sounds disturbingly like a terrified human.

The species is the least nocturnal of Australian owls, and has one of the broadest diets, eating small to medium birds and mammals, insects and other invertebrates.

See the stunning species soar over your head as part of the interactive Free Flight Bird Show, running daily on the Central Lawn – find out more here.

Barking Owls are found in Australia and Papua New Guinea, living in densely forested regions dominated by eucalypts and paperbarks, forest edges, savannahs and riverine woodland.

Pairs occupy territories, each resting during the day in one of a few regular roosting sites.

They may begin hunting before sunset on dull winter days. They prefer to hunt in open areas, watching for prey while in the air or from an exposed perch. Larger prey is targeted in the breeding season, which can be torn up and eaten in pieces if too large to be swallowed whole.

Once widespread, these owls have declined rapidly across much of their range. Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, especially the loss of large hollow-bearing trees, they are the most endangered owl in Victoria.

Love Barking Owls? Help us keep working to ensure our feathery friends stay a swoop ahead of extinction!

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