Tag Archives: Ninox novaeseelandiae ssp. albaria

Ninox novaeseelandiae ssp. albaria (Ramsay)

Lord Howe Island Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae ssp. albaria)


The Lord Howe Island Boobook was endemic to Lord Howe Island, where it inhabited the dense rainforests.

It was larger than the nominate form from New Zealand, and should probably rather be considered a distinct species.

Like so many other bird species from Lord Howe Island, also this owl species was severely affected by the grounding of the steamship ‘SS Makambo’ in 1918 which led to a literal flooding of the island by ship rats which killed many of the birds but especially destroyed their nests and eggs; additionally at least two Australian owl species, Australian Boobooks (Ninox boobook (Latham)) and Australian Masked Owls (Tyto novaehollandiae (Stephens)), were imported to Lord Howe Island in the 1920s to get rid of the rat plague, these owl species may also have taken their toll on the endemic form.

The Lord Howe Boobook might have survived into the 1950s when boobook calls were heard; these calls however, may also have come from the Australian Booboock, which apparently has since also vanished from the island.


Depiction from: ‘Gregory M. Mathews: The Birds of Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands and the Australian south polar quadrant with additions to “The Birds of Australia”. London: H. F. & G. Witherby 1928’

(public domain)


edited: 05.11.2021