A magnificent Morepork came and sat right outside our kitchen window, one day. The morepork is New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. Often heard in the forest at dusk and throughout the night, the morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae) is known for its haunting, melancholic call. Its Maori name, Ruru, reflects this call.
The much larger laughing owl became extinct in the 20th century. The German or little owl is a smaller species often found on open and lightly wooded farmland. It was introduced to New Zealand between 1906 and 1910 to try to control smaller introduced birds.
Geographical variation: At least 4 subspecies. New Zealand birds are the nominate race N.n. novaeseelandiae; N.n. boobook is common in Australia, where it is known as the boobook owl; N.n. albaria of Lord Howe Island is extinct; N.n. undulata of Norfolk Island is also extinct, surviving only as a hybrid population (with N.n. novaeseelandiae)
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