Nocturnal birds


 Strigidae & Tytonidae (Owls),

  Podargidae (Frogmouths) and

 Aegothelidae (Owlet-nightjars)

Of the five nocturnal bird species that have been recorded in the survey, only one owl, the Southern Boobook, is recorded frequently. The next most frequently recorded bird that is active at night is the Tawny Frogmouth, recorded at least once a year from a site on 104 occasions, and may be under-recorded because, like the Australian Owlet-nightjar (33) it is a much quieter bird. There are also occasional records of Eastern Barn Owls (17) and Barking Owls (6). Another owl only rarely seen in Canberra is the Powerful Owl.

Being nocturnal birds of prey, owls have large eyes and acute hearing. Their plumage is soft, and their outer flight feathers are fringed to soften the flow of air for almost noiseless flight. Owls have strong talons for grasping prey. They feed during the first hour or two after dusk, taking small birds, mice and insects. They can also be seen hawking for insects around streetlights.

Frogmouths have plumage similar to that of owls, but because their prey is comprised of large invertebrates such as spiders, beetles, centipedes and the like, their bills and feet are different.