Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Barking Owl (Ninox connivens)


French: Ninoxe aboyeuse German: Kläfferkauz Spanish: Nínox ladrador
Other common names: Barking Boobook

Falco connivens


, 1801,

Sydney region, New South Wales, Australia


Some authors consider species monotypic, but up to seven races accepted by others; review needed. Proposed race occidentalis (NW & NC Australia) synonymized with peninsularis, and addenda (SW Australia) with nominate. Some authors have placed birds of NC Queensland in race enigma, but type specimen, apparently lost, reported to be either juvenile of present species or aberrant, large individual of N. boobook. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. c. rufostrigata (G. R. Gray, 1861) – N Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera, Bacan, Obi).
  • N. c. assimilis Salvadori & D’Albertis, 1876 – C & E New Guinea W to Merauke and R Sepik, including Manam I and Karkar I.
  • N. c. peninsularis Salvadori, 1876 – coastal and subcoastal NW, N & NE Australia (S to Endeavour R in Queensland), and islands in SW Torres Strait.
  • N. c. connivens (Latham, 1801) – coastal and subcoastal SW Australia, gulf regions of South Australia, and E & SE Australia (S from foot of Cape York Peninsula).
  • Descriptive notes

    38–44 cm; body mass given as 425–510 g and c. 700 g (male) and c. 600 g (female); wingspan 85–125 cm. Medium-sized hawk-owl. Indistinct... read more


    Highly vocal, mostly at night but also during daytime. Mainly a distinctive, repeated, gruff,... read more


    Lowland riparian forest; woodland and savanna; dry, open sclerophyll forest and woodland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large insects; also vertebrates such as possums and gliders (Phalangeridae), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), rodents and small to... read more


    Not well known. Lays mainly Jul–Sept, slightly later in S than in N. Socially monogamous and territorial, with pairs recorded... read more


    Apparently resident, with no known cases of long-range movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Widespread throughout range. Generally thinly scattered; quite common in New Guinea, but uncommon and local in Moluccas. No... read more

    Recommended citation

    Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Barking Owl (Ninox connivens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).