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.