My favourite Barking Owl

Barking Owls are seriously spectacular birds and I was thrilled to capture this image; it’s one of my favourites.


Barking Owl Perched

Barking Owl


Barking Owls are in strife across Australia due to many factors including the loss of hollow bearing trees which impacts nesting sites for them and their prey. They mainly munch on smallish mammals, birds and insects. I always wish that birds didn’t eat birds but a surprising number of them do – that will be a post for another week. This owl is part of the educational program at Healesville Sanctuary, just east of Melbourne.

Barking Owls are mid-size hawk owls, they don’t have the heart-shaped faces typical of tyto owls like the Barn Owl. Barking Owls have a call that really does sound like a barking dog, ‘woof woof’ repeated incessantly, far longer than any dog could be bothered keeping up such a rhythm. They also have a wavering scream which has apparently caused concerned listeners to call the police.

My thanks to everyone for their kindness to my daughter following last week’s post. She has been diagnosed with severe pneumonia so has a long stretch ahead of her which will hopefully take the smoothest and most rapid path possible to a full recovery. I’m back in hospital myself, which is upsetting as I haven’t been able to be with her; it also means that lirralirra is missing its metadata, sorry about that.

The very best of good health to you and yours.

Happy birding, Kim


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22 comments to My favourite Barking Owl

  • Do NOT be sorry about lack of posts – life happens and life comes first! Here are healing thoughts for you and your daughter and you just do what needs to be done for both of you right now.

  • Neil Mansfield

    Get well soon Kim – someone said the birds need you, but I think we need your photos of the birds that need you. Spectacular photo of the Barking Owl. Just wonderful!

    • lirralirra

      Thanks for your lovely comment Neil. I’m glad you like the Barking Owl, they really are spectacular birds and I feel very lucky to have captured this image.

  • Bill Kinsey

    Hi Kim. Sorry to hear you and your daughter have both been unwell. Wishing you both a speedy recovery.

  • Rick Franks

    Hi Kim, Nice Barking Owl. Not so sure about your comment, ‘woof woof’ repeated incessantly, far longer than any dog could be bothered keeping up such a rhythm’…there’s a dog in my street that will give it a run for its money.
    Sorry to hear you and the family are having a run of bad health. Get well soon; the birds need you!

    • lirralirra

      You poor thing! A dog barking incessantly like that would be awful – are you sure it’s not an owl? 🙂 I haven’t seen many birds recently and really miss them, I saw a few species from one of the hospital windows, which was lovely even though it was mainly glimpses of Noisy Miners.

  • Jenny Skewes

    Once again I salute you for your dedication to our beautiful birds and for your wonderful artistry, even though your daughter is very ill and you are likewise in hospital. You are an inspiration, so please look after yourself and we all wish you and your daughter a full recovery as soon as possible.

    • lirralirra

      Hi Jenny, it has been a rough few weeks but thankfully my eldest daughter is home now and starting the long recovery journey. I’m on the mend too. I really appreciate your kind comments.

  • Alyssa

    A beautiful image, I love the perch too!

    Keep getting well my lovely Ma xoxox

  • Hi Kim,

    I was sorry to hear you are back in hospital and I am also sorry to hear that your daughter is crook too. Not a good time for your family but I hope you are both on the road to recovery.

    On a brighter note, I still hate you for your ability to turn out those wonderful bird photos time and time again.

    Get well soon, cheers NoelB.

    • lirralirra

      We are both heaps better than we were Noel, thank you. The second part of your message made me smile, I turn out plenty of lousy bird photos that I delete quickly. And it’d be great to have the kind of photographic diversity that you have!

  • Alison Moore

    Ditto to above, Elephants Child post. A very rough trot for you and family Kim.
    With my very best wishes and thankyou for the gorgeous Owl pics.

    • lirralirra

      Thank you so much Alison. I feel a bit shocked by the past few weeks, it’s so good to see my eldest daughter out of hospital and starting to recover. I’m glad you like the Barking Owl, they are such magnificent birds.

  • Carole King

    Sorry to read that you are back in hospital Kim….sending some healing thoughts to you and also to your daughter.
    I hope you and your daughter are both back in good health very soon.
    I love the Barking Owl photo…so sharp.

    • lirralirra

      Hi Carole, thanks for the healing thoughts, they are much appreciated. Hopefully the worst of it is behind us now. I’m glad you like the owl.

  • Lilla

    Beautiful owl 😊

  • I am so sorry to hear that your daughter has a long recovery ahead and that you are back in hospital. So very sorry.
    Love the barking owl. And please, please look after yourself.

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