Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc)

Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae)

Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae)The Masked Owl is a large Tyto or masked owl.  An inhabitant of forest and bushland, the Masked Owl preys upon arborial and terrestrial mammals up to the size of possums and rabbits, and birds up to the size of magpies and kookaburras.  

Masked Owls are almost never found more than 300km inland.  They are territorial, will mate for life and the female will usually lay two to three eggs in a tree hollow.  Masked Owls do not hold to any one specific breeding season, but will breed if conditions are favourable to the raising of young.

Whilst Masked Owls are closely related to Barn Owls, they can be distinguished from the more widespread Barn Owl by way of their more intensely defined facial disk, pearl pink bill, heavily defined markings on wings and mantle, and heavier feathering down both tarsi, reaching almost to their very large and muscular feet.  A small male Masked Owl may be only slightly larger than a large female Barn Owl, but female Masked Owls can be up to twice the size of a Barn Owl.

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