Greater Sooty Owl
Sounds & Calls
Greater Sooty Owl (Tyto tenebricosa)
Photo Credit: Imogen / Adobe Stock
Greater Sooty Owls favour tall, wet eucalypt forests and rely on the hollows of older trees for nesting and roosting. This species is strictly nocturnal and usually roosts in a tree hollow or amongst dense foliage during the day. They will also shelter in caves or under a rocky overhang. As a result of the clearing of old-growth forests, Greater Sooty Owl populations have been significantly fragmented and reduced. They are now listed as ‘vulnerable‘ in New South Wales, ‘threatened’ in Victoria and ‘rare’ in Queensland.
Greater Sooty Owls make a number of different vocalisations. The typical call is a short, descending screech which can sound like a whistle if heard from a distance. This call is often called the ‘falling-bomb whistle’. Heard up close, it sounds more like a shriek or scream. They also make a harsh scraping call, not unlike a Barn Owl. Another commonly heard call is a loud wavering, trill. While near the nest, softer chirruping calls can sometimes be heard.