Laughing owlWhēkau

Conservation status

Laughing owls were twice the size of the ruru, living across Aotearoa. But once stoats, ferrets and weasels were introduced in the 1880s, these nocturnal predators suffered a rapid decline. Laughing owls had a range of calls, including shrieks, coo-ees, and even barking sounds. The last recorded specimen was found dead in Canterbury in 1914, but unconfirmed reports continued into the 1930s and perhaps later.

Campaign Manager

Henry Scott

Henry Scott

Hoo hoo?

Yeah, nah.

More, hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Larger than our still-living Morepork, Laughing owls were a good deal chunkier, and were quite the impressive birds!

Not only did they have a call that sounded like your crazed neighbour, they also left behind a treasure trove in regard to their pellets, which have been a great resource for understanding the extent of ancient New Zealand ecosystems and what was around back then, even if it was done so in a less-than dignified way by way of the owls.

Let's laugh our way through the polls and to victory!


Laughing owl

Credit - Cuthbert Oliver Parr