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RUFOUS OWL } Ninox rufa

RANGE: Australia, New Guinea, and the Aru Islands

STATUS: Owlpages.com considers the rufous owl Rare to Very Uncommon and probably Endangered.

THREATS: Unknown

This very distinctive and serious-looking owl graces the tropical rainforests, monsoon forests, and wet, forested gullies and adjoining woodlands of Australia, New Guinea, and the Aru Islands. But you likely won’t come upon one casually: rufous owls are shy, even elusive birds, and are generally nocturnal. They are versatile, impressive, powerful hunters, even for owls — and that’s saying something. They hunt down a variety of prey from beetles to large birds and flying foxes and nest in the hollows of big trees.

Photo © Ian Shan Boller