Fun Barking Owl Facts For Kids

Chandrayan Choudhury
May 02, 2023 By Chandrayan Choudhury
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Tehil David
Read interesting Barking Owl facts that will amaze you.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

Have you ever heard of any bird that makes the sound of a dog? That's right! The Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) from the Australian continental region makes the sound of a dog.

Barking Owls are carnivorous nocturnal birds that prey on other small creatures. Be it a fast rabbit or a swift squirrel, nothing escapes its deadly claws.

They are covered in gray-brown feathers with white spots on them. These spots together form stripes on the owl's chest. With their radiant gray-brown feathers, magnificent yellow eyes, and yellow-skinned sharp claws, these killing machines are one of a kind.

The Barking Owl, also known as the Winking Owl, inhabits the northern and southern continental regions of Australia. Free in the fauna, hearing the Barking Owl sound is common for the natives of those places. This medium-sized bird is a symbol of love too.

It lives in pairs that last for life. The breeding season starts in July and lasts up to October in the whole continent.

The female lays two to three eggs after an incubation period of 36 days. Being nesting partners they know their duties well. The male searches for food while the female stays back in the nest to guard the kids.

A range of fun facts and interesting facts along with a heap of other interesting information awaits you below. If you enjoy reading animal facts or bird facts then you must also visit our Hawk facts and Song Thrush facts pages. You will not regret it!

Barking Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Barking Owl?

Barking Owls (Ninox connivens) are birds of prey found in the continental region of Australia.

What class of animal does a Barking Owl belong to?

Barking Owls belong to the class Aves (birds), family Strigidae. Also known as the Winking Owl, these birds are high-class predators who prey on smaller animals.

How many Barking Owls are there in the world?

The exact number of Barking Owls in this world is unknown. But rapid habitat destruction has affected the population of the Barking Owls. According to a lot of Australian environmental acts, this bird species can be considered as Least Concern, but their population is decreasing.

Where does a Barking Owl live?

Barking Owls (Ninox connivens) naturally inhibit the continental parts of Australia (the land of the Kangaroos, one such is the Antilopine Kangaroo). They can be easily found near woodlands, in forests, and in farmlands where they can have an abundance of prey.

What is a Barking Owl's habitat?

Barking Owls (Ninox connivens) prefer forests with large trees, swamps, and riversides that are away from the touch of the urban. The Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) needs high trees for nesting purposes. Along with nesting, these thick trees, and swamp areas provide them with enough prey for hunting as well.

Who does Barking Owl live with?

Barking Owls (Ninox connivens) are monogamous. They live in strong pairs, and these pairs last a lifetime. After the birth of the offspring, they remain with their parents till the next breeding season and by then they become self-capable and leave their parents to live on their own.

How long does a Barking Owl live?

Accurate information on how long a Barking Owl lives is not available. But it is vaguely considered that owl species have an average lifespan of around 20-26 years. Yet a lot of owl species die sooner.

How do they reproduce?

Barking Owls breed between July to October across Australia. In the northern part, the breeding season remains from July to September, and in the southern part, the breeding season starts in August and ends in October. After an incubation period of around 36 days, the female lays three to four eggs.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN red list, the Barking Owl's conservation status is classified as Least Concern. But due to rapid habitat loss, their number in the world is gradually decreasing.

Barking Owl Fun Facts

What does a Barking Owl look like?

The Barking Owl is a medium-sized, robust, nocturnal bird found in the continental areas of Australia. They are birds with gray-brown feathers with white stripes on them.

They have a small round faces like the burrowing owl. They have magnificent eyes with a yellow iris. Though the male and female birds don't differ much in size (the male being a bit larger) but the male birds are 8-10% heavier than the female.

Owl in its nest inside the tree trunk.

How cute are they?

They might look cute but are very wild.

How do they communicate?

Barking Owls are capable of making very loud and shrill voices that can be easily heard from a large distance. The name 'Barking Owl' itself is derived from these characteristics.

Their double hoot resembles the sound of a dog bark so accurately that it can't be easily differentiated from a real dog bark.

They can produce shrill sounds as well which resemble the voice of a human female. People in the old days used to get confused by this sound and thought that real women were screaming in the woods.

How big is a Barking Owl?

The Barking Owl is a medium-sized robust which is 15-17 in (34-44.5 cm) long and has a wingspan of 33-45 in (83.8-114 cm), which is more than double the size of the Northern Spotted Owl. The Barking Owl weighs around 13-23 oz (380-650 g).

How fast can a Barking Owl fly?

Barking Owls are ace predators. Be it searching for their food or hunting down their prey, they do it so swiftly that the prey can't even realize. Their flying speed plays an integral part in their hunting skill.

How much does a Barking Owl weigh?

The weight of these owls varies from 13.5-23 oz (380-650 g). Males are slightly larger and weigh 8-10% more than females.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Though Barking Owls differ in size and weight, they don't have specific names for the gender binary.

What would you call a baby Barking Owl?

Just like the other owl offsprings, these owl offsprings are also called owlets.

What do they eat?

The Barking Owls are carnivorous birds like the Shikras. Their diet doesn't face a big challenge because they eat probably everything where insects, bugs, rabbits, and fishes are some common foods. They even hunt other birds such as ducks, and other small birds too. Very rarely they even attack cats as well.

Are they poisonous?

They are wild and dangerous at times and their attacks may cause infection but they don't carry poison in them.

Would they make a good pet?

Having an owl as a pet is a bad decision. They are meant to be in the wild. Due to their wild behavior, they can cause harm to the owner.

Did you know...

The vocal range of the Barking Owl is so big compared to the other owls or birds in general that it can create the frequency of a growl, howl, or scream as well as a simple tweet. The 'screaming woman' call sounds as if a real woman or child is screaming in pain.

Why do owls bark?

A Barking Owl call can be compared to the call of a dog. Loud barks from these owls are considered territorial calls to notify the stray owls of their presence outside the territory.

What bird makes a sound like a barking dog?

The Barking Owls found in Australia make the sound of a barking dog. The 'double hoot' territorial call is so precise that you can easily mistake it for real dog bark. The 'screaming woman' call is a very rare sound that these owls make. They have a large range of vocalizations and can make sounds of different frequencies.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other animals from our Jamaican Owl facts and Eastern Screech Owl facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Barking Owl coloring pages.

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Written by Chandrayan Choudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Chandrayan Choudhury picture

Chandrayan ChoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Skilled content writer Chandrayan has a passion for producing compelling and engaging content. With an excellent command of the English language and a talent for research and proofreading, Chandrayan has honed his skills through years of experience in the industry. Chandrayan is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Tripura University, demonstrating his dedication to the craft of writing. 

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Fact-checked by Tehil David

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David picture

Tehil DavidBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David Singh is a fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in English literature from St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, and a Master's degree in Philosophy, and Religion from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has a passion for writing and hopes to become a story writer in the future. Tehil has previously interned in content writing and has been a content creator for the last three years. In his personal life, he enjoys singing, songwriting, performing, and writing stories.

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