Barking Owl with black background squinting at the camera.

Barking Owl

Barking Owl

Check out Australia Zoo’s Barking Owl!

Australia Zoo is home to a you-beaut bird of prey – the barking owl! Don’t miss the Birds of Prey LIVE! as our incredible raptors take to the skies.  Woo-hoo!


Profile view of a Barking Owl's head.


Barking owls are found throughout all mainland states and territories of Australia and even into Papua New Guinea.  As their names suggests, the barking owl does in fact bark and growl, just like a dog!  This vocalisation is used as a mating and/or territorial call to warn off any would-be trespassers or predators.


Unlike many other owl species, barking owls aren’t nocturnal.  They are a crepuscular species, meaning they are most active during early mornings and late afternoons!


Barking Owl with eyes wide leaning forward toward camera.


Did you know that owls can’t move their eyes from side-to-side?  Instead, they have seven extra vertebrae in their neck, allowing them to turn their head 270 degrees.  Crikey, that’s cool!


Barking owls are ambush predators!  They fly without making a sound, have powerful talons and keen vision, perfect for locating unsuspecting prey.  On the menu for barking owls are insects, reptiles, birds and mammals as large as possums.


Barking Owl looking over their shoulder with black background.


Australia-wide they are well represented in the wild. They are one we need to keep our eyes on as, in some areas in the southern parts of Australia, their habitat has become extremely fragmented and as little as 50 breeding pairs may remain in these regions.

  • Class of animal icon


  • Genus of animal icon


  • Species of animal icon


  • height of animal icon

    34 - 45 centimetres

  • weight of animal icon

    380 - 650 grams

  • diet of animal icon


  • gestation of animal icon

    28 days