A photo of a Australian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae)
Australian Masked Owl

Australian Masked Owl

Tyto novaehollandiae

The Australian masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) is a barn owl of Southern New Guinea and the non-desert areas of Australia. Brown feathers surround a white, heart-shaped mask. Their dorsal plumage is brown, aside from light gray spots on the upper back. Their front is white with brown spots. Their eye color varies from black to dark brown. The species have sexual dimorphism, females are darker shaded and larger than males. Masked owls follow the typical pattern of birds from the tropics being much smaller than birds from temperate regions. In this instance, Tasmanian masked owls are the largest and the largest of the entire barn-owl family. Among the species in the family, only the greater sooty owl is on average heavier than the Australian masked owl but the Tasmanian species is rather larger and heavier even than the greater sooty owl.
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