This owl is an Australian speciality. Variously called the Boobook, Morepork or Mopoke it has a distinctive & unmistakable call.
When we built our house we very deliberately left as much of the native bushland as we could which means some of our trees are enormouse. We have a big eculypt at the corner of our bedroom & in mating season our resident Mopoke likes to sit there & call ~ for hour after hour. Now if you live with lots of wildlife about you very rapidly get used to the various noises they make & sleep soundly through even the most raucous matings ~ unless it happens to be a Mopoke.
This bird has an extremely unattractive habit; when looking for a mate it only gives half it's call. We hear a questioning , 'Mo?' & then a long agonizing wait. Eventually from the other side of the bay, down by the jetty, a lonsome bird answers, 'Poke!' 'Mo?'............'Poke!' Guarranteed to keep even the tiredest anxiously awake in the throes of unrequited bird love.
These are our smallest owls but they gave me one of the biggest shocks of my life. We hadn't been living here long & watching a harvest moon come up over the big island to the east of us was still an amazing novelty. I'd turned of all our lights, the better to enjoy the moonlight, when a dark shadow blocked the light. There was a great thwamp against the flyscreen & an almighty flurry. The mopokes were hawking moths (attracted by the lights) off our flyscreens! My heart was in my mouth by then & I was reaching for the broom to fend off invaders. Yep, I felt pretty silly waving a broom handle at a pair of hungry owls.