Facts about Bismarck Hawk Owl. The Bismark Hawk Owl is named for the Bismarck Archipelago that it calls home. This species of hawk owl was identified by Giamard and Quoy in 1830. "Scientific name for the Bismarck Hawk Owl is Ninox variegata". Bismarck Hawk Owl also called the New Ireland boobook; the Southern Boobook, species name Ninox boobook, is an owl native to mainland Australia and southern New Guinea; that is probably the ancestral stock of the Bismark Hawk Owl that evolved into a distinct species after the Ice Ages ended. When the sea levels rose three hundred to four hundred feet (92 to 122 meters), it swamped the land bridge that connected Australia and New Guinea and a number of surrounding islands, leading to speciation for the smaller, now isolated groups.
The Bismark Hawk Owl is sometimes called the New Ireland Hawk Owl or Ninox solomonis. It is a member of the Strigidae family and strigiformes order.
Physical Characteristics of Bismarck Hawk Owl
Average size of Bismarck Hawk Owl is between 9 and 12 inches (23 to 30 cm). The Bismarck Hawk Owl has yellow-white eyes that are brown in some individuals. The Bismarck Hawk Owl has a grey-white beak. The Bismarck Hawk Owl has dark brown feathers around the very round head and does not have “horns” or ear tufts. It has a bright white patch above the beak and under the eyes. The feathers immediately around the eyes are black. The Bismarck Hawk Owl has an indistinct facial disk.
The Bismarck Hawk Owl has dark brown striations with white stripes on the body. The striations and body feathers become darker as one moves from the chest down to the legs, such that the under body is light beige and white. The under parts may be brown or have a reddish tint, which is also called the rufous pattern. The feathers around the feet are nearly white. There are white spots or bars on the mantle and wing coverts. The Bismarck Hawk Owl’s feet are pale yellow. It has heavy tarsi.
The wings are dark brown. The Bismark Hawk Owl has long pointed wings. It has a long tail.
The Bismarck Hawk Owl is around nine to eleven inches toll.
Behavior of Bismarck Hawk Owl
It is believed that the Bismarck Hawk Owl feeds on insects, based on the diet of related species.
This owl does not migrate within its range.
The Bismarck Hawk Owl lives in lowland forests up to three thousand feet in elevation. These islands were originally covered in dense rain forest; the islands themselves are two to five degrees south of the equator. (The region in which it lives is made up of volcanic islands. The highest point on New Hanover Island is 3,000 feet (914 meters). New Ireland, however, goes up 7,800 feet (2377 meters), but the owl is not found near the summit. The Bismarck Hawk Owl lives in tree covered hills and the edges of the forest. The Bismarck Hawk Owl is commonly found in the forested areas of its habitat. Deforestation would pose a threat to the species.
Range of Bismarck Hawk Owl
The Bismarck Hawk Owl is native to the Bismarck Archipelago near Papua New Guinea. The Bismarck Hawk Owl is found on the islands of New Britain, New Hanover, and New Ireland. While it has a very restricted range, it is not considered vulnerable when criteria like declining range, fragmentation of range or measured decline in its population from one generation to the next.
Trivia of Bismarck Hawk Owl
The species was originally called Noctua variegata.