Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Barking Owls:

Barking Owls: by Erica

Barking owls are unique to Australia and some parts of Papua New Guinea.

Barking Owls can twist their heads almost right around (270 degrees!)  They are sight owls (Ninox Genus) as opposed to hearing owls (Tyto Genus) so they have excellent eye sight and usually hunt at dawn and dusk. Their eyes are fixed unlike humans which is why they have to be able to twist their heads around.

Silent flight is an ability well used when flying around to look for prey. The trailing edge of all of this bird's feathers are actually softened to reduce the noise of air rushing over the feather whilst it is on the hunt. They usually eat anything from rodents though to possums and occasionally they even eat birds.

The Barking owls only have one mate in their life time. Their babies hatch at 38 days leave the nest at 7 weeks old.

You may be wondering why barking owls have such a strange name? Their noise sounds like a dog barking. It can even growl. It is extremely difficult to tell the difference between the Barking owl and a dog. Barking owls also scream and can sound like a woman or child in great pain, although this scream is seldom heard.
The myth of the Bunyip told to us by Aboriginals is said to have it origins with the scary noises a Barking Owl can make at night.