Ninox novaeseelandiae



Throughout New Zealand


Forests, parks, plantations


Insects, rodents, lizards, spiders and birds


Breeding is August to December. Morepork usually nest in tree hollows, but also in thick clusters of leaves above ground or even burrows in banks. They lay two eggs, two days apart, incubated for 30 to 31 days from laying the first egg. Until the young are feathered, the female stays in the nest during the day and only leaves to hunt at night.


Introduced mammals and larger birds of prey

Conservation Status:

Not threatened, endemic and protected


A nocturnal bird, these tend to roost in thick foliage during the day. If disturbed, they will glide to another suitable spot. They are territorial and may roost in the same spot each day.

Maori thought of the Ruru as a messenger, possibly an ancestral spirit. A Ruru showing unusual behaviour, such as entering a house or being active during the day, was thought to signify death or the arrival of an important visitor.