DISTRIBUTION: Found throughout Australia in wooded countryside as well as eastern Indonesia and New Guinea. Widely distributed on the three main islands of New Zealand, including the closest offshore groups. It also inhabits Norfolk Island and has been introduced to Lord Howe Island.
HABITAT: Habitat most preferred is dense native forest. However, the Morepork has adapted well to European influence and can often be heard in city parks, pine plantations and other areas of exotic woodlands.
BREEDING: Mating normally begins in mid August, and a clutch of about 1-3 eggs is laid in October, usually in a hollow tree. The female alone incubates the eggs for about 30 days. The male feeds her during this time. Chicks fledge at about 40 days.
FOOD: Insects such as beetles, moths and weta, and occasionally frogs, geckos, small birds and mice.
VOICE: The distinctive territorial call is unmistakable and may well be the most familiar night sound to most New Zealanders. Uttered by both sexes throughout the year, it sounds a bit like the name ‘more-pork’ with the second note normally pitched lower than the first.
GENERAL: They are nocturnal birds which very rarely hunt in daylight. Mainly sedentary, living in pairs that occupy permanent territories. In some open parts of the South Island it has been displaced by the introduced Little Owl.