Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc)

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata)

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata)Considered by many to be one of the prettiest representatives of genus Tyto, the Lesser Sooty Owl inhabits the tropical mountain rainforests of north eastern Queensland.

The Lesser Sooty Owl stands marginally taller than a Barn Owl, but is much darker, with enormous dark eyes, stocky, muscular legs and large, powerful feet.  This small but formidable predator has the largest eyes of any Tyto owl.  It preys primarily on small mammals such as native rats and pygmy possums, but will also take small birds and insects.  Its call is similar to that of the Sooty Owl and may be described as evocative of the archetypical whistle of a falling bomb.

The Lesser Sooty Owl is considered a threatened species due to habitat destruction and degradation.  Taxonomists once considered Lesser Sooty Owls to be a subspecies of their close cousins, the Sooty Owls, but Lesser Sooties have since been recognised as a distinct species.

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