Are there any owls living in New Zealand?

I love owls and I live in New Zealand so I was wondering if there are any owls living in this country. Then I found out that there are no real owls in New Zealand but the closest subspecies you can find to owls in New Zealand are the Little Owl and the Morepork.

Little Owl

  Foto von Andy Morffew

The little Owl has gotten its name from its sizes as it is very small compared to many other owls. . For example a Snowy Owl, one of my favourite owls, has a size of 28.4 cm with a weight of 4.5 kg. Instead, the Little Owl only reaches as size of 10.7 cm and weighs 180g.
The Little Owl is small and plump. It has grey-brown-and-white streaked feathers. It also has a pale gray disk around its huge yellow eyes. The legs have thick white feathering all the way down to the light yellow-grey toes. Little Owls are more active during the day than Moreporks, and are often seen perched in the open during daylight hours, on power poles, fence posts, roof-tops or in trees. Little Owls like to bob up and down if they are about to take flight.

Little Owls were introduced to New Zealand from Germany between 1906 and 1910, with the intention that they would help control the numbers of small introduced birds, which were becoming a pest on the grain and fruit crops. With the exception of one pair (two girls) released in Rotorua, a town 230 km south of Auckland, all birds live on the South Island. They tend to be found throughout the drier open country of the Eastern and Northern South Island.

If you like to find out more about Little Owls, please check out the following websites:



  Foto von j.e.mcgowan

The Morepork, another owl species in New Zealand, is also known as a close relative to the Tasmanian Spotted Owl.

Even though the Moreporks are more than twice as tall as the Little Owl, they weigh a little less (height 27 cm and weight 175 g).

The Morepork is a small, dark brown owl with spotted white dots. Its striking yellow, green eyes are set onto either side of their small but sharply hooked beak. The breast is dark brown colour streaked with cream and brown feathers. Their legs are feathered down to the yellow feet.

Moreporks are found throughout the native and exotic forests of New Zealand, mainly the Eastern and Central parts of the South Island. They are uncommon in the drier Eastern regions of the South Island, especially south of Christchurch. They also occur in more open areas where suitable patches of forests remained, including wooded farmlands and parks and gardens.

For more information about the Morepork browse these websites:

Moreporks and the Little Owls diet is mostly of small mammals and birds, which they hunt at night. They catch and eat a wide variety of small animals, including large insects, small birds, (especially silvereyes), and small mammals. Their diet changes with the season, generally to what prey they find most.

Even if Moreporks and Little Owls are not real owls, they belong to the owl family by blood, so most people believe that they are owls.

If you want more information about any Owls try this website:

And I can also suggest the following books:


I hope you had fun reading my article and learnt lots more about Little Owls and Moreporks.





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