Sydney area, New South Wales, Australia.
May form a group with N. rudolfi, N. leucopsis and N. novaeseelandiae, and all four have frequently been considered conspecific; separated at species level from N. novaeseelandiae by morphological and molecular differences. Various other treatments proposed, notably a group that includes these same four species together with N. squamipila (and recently separated N. hypogramma, N. hantu and N. forbesi and presumably N. natalis), N. meeki, N. theomacha, N. variegata and perhaps other boobooks in Australasian Region; more research needed. Form lurida has been treated as a separate species#R#R, on basis of “morphology and vocalisations” plus “very different habitat”, but vocal evidence weak and saturated plumage clearly linked to more humid habitat. No consensus on number of races, much in need of revision, especially non-Australian forms. Kangaroo I (South Australia) population has been described as a race (halmaturina), but seems not constantly separable from nearby mainland population of nominate; also, marmorata of SW & SC Australia regarded as synonymous with ocellata. Form rotiensis has different voice and is very likely to require upgrading to species status, but this is pending a “full and proper analysis” of the evidence#R; other forms apparently differing vocally are fusca#R and plesseni#R, and these may repay further investigation. Ten subspecies tentatively recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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