Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis)


French: Ninoxe de Christmas German: Weihnachtsinselkauz Spanish: Nínox de la Christmas
Other common names: Christmas Hawk-owl

Ninox natalis


, 1889,

Christmas Island


Formerly considered conspecific with N. squamipila (which see), but separable on morphological and plumage details, molecular differences and perhaps voice#R. Monotypic.


Christmas I (NE Indian Ocean S of Java).

Descriptive notes

26–29 cm; 130–190 g. Smallish Ninox with brownish-chestnut facial mask, whitish eyebrows, rich rufous-brown upperparts with fine white spots on nape and... read more


Typical advertising call a repeated, double-noted hoot with somewhat clucking quality, “klu-... read more


Dense rainforest, both tall evergreen and deciduous, on plateau and coastal terraces; less often in... read more

Food and feeding

On the basis of 400 prey items identified from pellets and 41 from the stomachs of seven owls found dead, diet mainly large insects,... read more


Little known. Extended breeding season, with fledglings reported in Apr, May and Aug–Dec. Socially monogamous; territorial,... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Previously considered not globally threatened. CITES I. Widespread but confined to small, isolated Christmas I, where the only strigid. Radio-tracking and... read more

Recommended citation

Olsen, P.D., de Juana, E. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis). 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 22 November 2019).