Far North Barn Owls

Bird sighting information. Use this forum to report bird sightings (especially rare and unusual birds), census and field count results, and trip reports. Messages posted to this forum will also be sent as a plain text email to the BIRDING-NZ newsgroup.
User avatar
Les Feasey
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:03 pm

Far North Barn Owls

Postby Les Feasey » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:35 am

Hi all,
For those of you who have been wondering about barn owls, our regular monthly unusual bird roundup for the Region found that there are now five barn owl nests in the Kaitaia area. Anthea Goodwin had a second hand but reliable report that a barn owl had been seen at Cooper's Beach, a 36km drive from Kaitaia. Most of the nests are in holes in trees but Kevin Matthews had a report of one in a barn! Imagine, barn owls in a barn.
Cheers,
Les
image.png
image.png (729 Bytes) Viewed 1043 times
Les Feasey
Opua, Far North
Clinton9
Posts: 893
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Clinton9 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:02 pm

This means 10 adult barn owls.

But nothing about 20 Australian pelicans in Far North.
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Alan Tennyson » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:15 pm

I was told by a 'British birder' that he heard a barn owl calling in Waikato recently. He said he was very familiar with their calls and was certain that's what it was. He lives in Auckland at the moment, so potentially more detailed information could be extracted if needed, cheers Alan
Chris Bindon
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Chris Bindon » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:36 pm

Hi Les,

It's been a while since hearing much on the Barn Owls and so thanks very much for the update, it's appreciated.

Really great to hear there are a few nests on the go, that's excellent news though while they can nest at any time of year, I'm also a little surprised to hear of so much activity right now as I would have thought it much harder to find so many rodents at this time of year compared with say more plentiful times like Summer and Autumn.

Are there any thoughts from the far north on overall how the population is doing, number (pair) estimates up your way please Les?

Thanks,

Chris
User avatar
RussCannings
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:23 am

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby RussCannings » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:29 pm

Alan Tennyson wrote:I was told by a 'British birder' that he heard a barn owl calling in Waikato recently. He said he was very familiar with their calls and was certain that's what it was. He lives in Auckland at the moment, so potentially more detailed information could be extracted if needed, cheers Alan


Hi Alan,

If you have the birder's contact information or can recall the rough or exact location of the detection I'd be happy to try and follow it up. You can PM me if you like.

Have been listening hard ever since I moved here (the Waikato) but so far only pukeko and a few possums have screeched back at me.

Russ C
Morrinsville, NZ
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Alan Tennyson » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:59 pm

I'll try to find out Russ - it was just a conversation over a beer!
User avatar
David Riddell
Posts: 728
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby David Riddell » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:17 am

Did this British birder specifically exclude possum? Their screeches could sound very barn owl-like, especially if heard at a distance. Here's an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70n88xAdmo0

Great if it was a barn owl though...
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Alan Tennyson » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:26 am

Thanks David - that's very helpful - a possum is certainly worth considering. I'm still trying to track done the observer, cheers
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Alan Tennyson » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:55 pm

I've found him & here's the detail & a response to the suggestion that it could have been a possum:

'The actual situation was I was outside our airbnb garage conversion (near Rangitoto just east of Te Kuiti: called Glenburn Farm on airbnb, friendly owners might well allow locals on their land) on c.28 June ...I heard the call, went 'oh, a barn owl' in my head and thought no more about it. I knew they were in NZ & we were staying on a livestock farm with a lot of open land so I wasn't surprised, knowing nothing of their limited distribution until speaking to you that evening otherwise I might have paid more attention.

I've never heard a possum make anything other than a grunt - didn't know they made unpleasant screeching sounds as well. Listening to that youtube video I was surprised at the similarlity (eg compared to this https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildl ... z/barn-owl
), and given that I didn't pay any real or further attention at the time to e.g. length of screech, and although I don't recall a pre-scream grunt as the possum seems to do (recall inattention and length of time since hearing it anyway), I cannot hand-on-heart say that it wasn't mammalian in origin'.

So at least locals now know where to go and have a listen ...good luck!
User avatar
Neil Fitzgerald
Site Admin
Posts: 3192
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:20 am
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Far North Barn Owls

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:16 pm

I'm going to have to pay more attention when I hear possums calling. They really are quite similar to that recording Alan linked to.

Return to “Bird Sightings and Alerts”