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Sooty Owl

(Tyto tenebricosa)
Alternate name(s): "Greater Sooty Owl & Lesser Sooty Owl"
Race "tenebricosa"
Size: 37-50 cm (male 37-43 cm); wing span 0.85-1.15 m
Weight: 500-700 g (male), 750-1200 g (female)
Race "multipunctata"
Size: ca. 33 cm (male), ca. 37 cm (female)


Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Greater Sooty Owl at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "tenebricosa"

This race is also called the "Greater Sooty Owl".



Ventral view of a (probably male) Sooty Owl looking down at the observer from its daytime roost
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, March 2016]

Overview of the location of a Sooty Owl's roost inside a hollow fig tree
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, March 2016]

Having checked out the harmless observer, it is time for the Sooty Owl to snooze again
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, March 2016]

Ventral view of a preening Sooty Owl
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, June 2017]

Ventral view of a snoozing Sooty Owl (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, June 2017]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

sootowl_me_20230127.mp3 tenebricosa
Contact calls © ME
sootowl_me_20230127_2.mp3 tenebricosa
Contact calls © ME
sootowl_me_20230127_3.mp3 tenebricosa
Contact calls © ME
sootowl_me_20191219.m4a tenebricosa
Contact call © ME
sootowl_me_20191219_2.m4a tenebricosa
Territorial call ("bomb whistle") © ME

More Sooty Owl sound recordings are available at .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.