Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Jungle Boobook (Ninox theomacha)


French: Ninoxe brune German: Einfarbkauz Spanish: Nínox papú
Other common names: Jungle Hawk-owl, Papuan Boobook

Spiloglaux theomacha


, 1855,

Triton Bay, New Guinea


May form part of a species-group centred on N. squamipila (which see). Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. t. hoedtii (Schlegel, 1871) – W Papuan Is (Waigeo and Misool).
  • N. t. theomacha (Bonaparte, 1855) – New Guinea.
  • N. t. goldii Gurney, Sr, 1883 – D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Goodenough, Fergusson, Normanby).
  • N. t. rosseliana Tristram, 1889 – Louisiade Archipelago (Tagula, Rossel).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–28 cm; 185 g (n = 1 of unknown sex). Small to medium-sized hawk-owl (wing length 175–227 mm), uniformly dark chocolate to chestnut-brown above and... read more


    Song a series of hoarse, disyllabic notes, “hyu-hyu”, the two notes identical, slightly... read more


    Lowland forest, forest edge, gardens and tree groves in open country, from sea-level to cloud... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly large insects. Hunts using sallies from perch; hawks insects on wing; solitary or in pairs. Takes insects attracted lights near... read more


    Very poorly known. Apparently lays and incubates from Aug–Dec; fledglings seen in Oct. Monogamous (presumably); territorial,... read more


    Undescribed, probably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No estimates of global population size, but species is widely distributed and considered to be fairly common; occupies... read more

    Recommended citation

    Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Jungle Boobook (Ninox theomacha). 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 23 January 2020).