Morepork, Ruru

Ninox novaeseelandiae
Bird Songs
Morepork evening call


New Zealand status: Native

Conservation status: Not Threatened

The morepork/ruru is a small, forest-dwelling owl known for its haunting nightly hooting.

Its striking yellow eyes are set into two facial disks either side of a small sharply hooked bill. The back feathers are dark-brown spotted sparsely with off-white. The breast is dark-brown variably streaked with cream and brown. The legs are feathered legs down to the yellow feet.

Morepork/ruru are relatively common around much of New Zealand, but populations are sparse through the eastern and central South Island. In Dunedin they are heard in well-vegetated suburbs and in the Town Belt. Their diet consists of insects, small mammals and birds, which it hunts at night.

Find out more about morepork/ruru


Adult morepork/ruru. Credit: Oscar Thomas.