Australian masked-owl

These owls are non-seasonal breeders. They mate when food is in abundance to ensure their chicks survive

JJ Harrison

Australian masked-owl


These owls are non-seasonal breeders. They mate when food is in abundance to ensure their chicks survive


These majestic birds establish permanent home territories with their mates, forming strong bonds that endure over time. They display a preference for woodlands and eucalyptus forests, where they can find suitable nesting sites within the deep cavities of tree trunks. However, populations outside of forested areas have adapted to alternative habitats, utilizing rocky crevices and caves for roosting and nesting.

During the breeding season, the female masked owl takes on the primary responsibility of incubating the eggs and caring for the hatchlings once they arrive. Meanwhile, the male owl assumes the crucial role of providing sustenance for the growing family. With their keen hunting skills, masked owls are adept predators capable of capturing a wide variety of prey. They employ various hunting techniques, including perching and waiting patiently for unsuspecting prey to pass by, as well as engaging in aerial pursuits to capture prey on the wing.

One of the remarkable features of the masked owl’s hunting strategy is its utilization of its muscular legs and large taloned feet to secure prey. Whether hunting on the ground, from trees, or even in mid-air, these formidable hunters rely on their powerful grasp to capture a diverse range of prey items. From bats and birds to possums, bandicoots, rodents, rabbits, reptiles, and insects, the masked owl exhibits remarkable versatility in its diet, demonstrating its adaptability to various environmental conditions.

Beyond their role as skilled hunters, Australian masked owls also play a vital ecological role as top predators within their ecosystems. By regulating populations of small mammals, birds, and insects, they help maintain the delicate balance of local food webs, contributing to the overall health and stability of their habitats.


Population est.
Papua New Guinea

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No