Tasmanian Masked Owl - Tyto castanops
Formerly considered a subspecies of Tyto novaehollandiae
The Tasmanian Masked owl is the largest and most powerful of all Tyto owls.
[For help with terms used in the description, see parts of an owl. For general characteristics common to most owl species, see owl physiology.]
Description: Mainly greyish-brown above, with white and black spots. Facial disc is pale chesnut-brown to brownish-buff, with a darker patch around the eyes, extending towards the base of the bill. The rim is very prominent and brown with darker speckles. Eyes are blackish-brown and the bill whitish-cream. Underparts are boldly marked with relatively large dark spots. Legs are feathered and toes greyish-brown to yellowish-grey with blackish-brown talons. Females are darker and larger than males.
Size: Length 47-51cm (18.5-20"). Wing length males 310-347mm (12.2-13.7"), females 344-387mm (13.5-15.2").
Weight up to 1260g (44.5oz)
Habits: Nocturnal, secretive. Roosts by day in dense foliage of tall trees, or in hollow tree trunks; sometimes in caves or rock crevices.
Voice: Typical call is a screech similar to the Barn owl, but louder and more rasping.
Hunting & Food: Hunts smally mammals, up to the size of rabbits. May also take smaller birds and lizards.
Breeding: Nests in tree hollows. 2-4 white eggs are laind and incubated by the female alone. Nestling fledge at 10-12 weeks.
Habitat: Forest and semi-open wooded areas.
Distribution of the Tasmanian Masked Owl Tyto castanops
Status: Probably endangered.
Original Description: Gould, John. 1837. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1836) (PZS) pt. 4, no. 48: p 140.
Page compiled by Deane P. Lewis. Page last updated 2012-08-13
OwlPages.com Owl Species ID: 010.100.000