Animals

Laughing Owl: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Read these laughing owl facts about the birds that were last seen in the year 1914 – after which they fully disappeared.
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The laughing owl was once found only in its native place, New Zealand. The bird was listed as Threatened in the year 1880 as they were getting rarer, but in 1914, the laughing owl species became fully Extinct.

There have been many unconfirmed reports of laughing owls being spotted ever since. A writer, Brian Parkinson, reported in the 1940s about the laughing owl in his book as an unidentified bird that was seen flying. The bird was said to be very loud and producing a strange cry. In 1960, the last trace of laughing owls was found, which was their egg fragments.

These birds occupied rocky areas with low rainfall on the northern Island. They consumed beetles, geckos, rats, and mice.

Here on our page, we have lots of amazing facts about the laughing owl that everyone will enjoy. Let's look at these interesting facts; if you like these, then do read our articles on guinea fowl facts and burrowing owl facts.

Laughing Owl

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Lizards, earthworms, small seabirds, ro2dents, insects

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

2

How much do they weigh?

21 oz (600 g)

How long are they?

14-15.7 in (35.5-40 cm)


How tall are they?

N/A


What do they look like?

Dark brown, yellow stripes

Skin Type

Feathers

What are their main threats?

Humans, habitat destruction, predation, competition

What is their conservation status?

Extinct

Where you'll find them

Low rainfall areas, forests, rocky areas

Locations

New Zealand

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Aves

Scientific Name

Sceloglaux albifacies or Ninox albifacies

Family

Strigidae

Genus

Ninox

Laughing Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a laughing owl?

The laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) is a species of night bird belonging to the family Strigidae. These birds sleep during the day and wake up during the night.

What class of animal does the laughing owl belong to?

The laughing owl animal is a bird species that belongs to the class of Aves.

How many laughing owls are there in the world?

The laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) bird has been fully Extinct since the early 20th century, specifically in 1914. The laughing owl was a bird that was only found in its native country, New Zealand, and nowhere else in the world.

Where does a laughing owl live?

Laughing owl birds were only found in New Zealand. These birds preferred to reside in rocky areas like the rocky mountains or low rainfall areas. This owl was also seen building its nest on the ground of the dense forests of the regions.

What is a laughing owl's habitat?

The laughing owl's habitat was dense areas like rocky regions and forests. These birds liked to chase their prey by feet and not by flying. They usually built their nests on the ground where they could catch their food easily. They could also find their offspring easy food.

Who do laughing owls live with?

Like the other species, the laughing owl was usually found living solitarily. These birds came together in the mating season. Otherwise, they lived far away in distance away from other animals throughout their life. These creatures usually lived near their prey so that they could easily hunt them.

How long does a laughing owl live?

The lifespan of these species of birds is not known. Sufficient resources weren't available in the 20th century to conduct studies on their lifespan. These birds had gone Extinct within 40 years of their discovery. The estimate, however, is that they could have lived for more than 30 years.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season of the laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) began in September or October. The pair used to come together and perform the mating process. After the process was done, they built their nest on the bare ground in the rocky areas, covered with dried grasses. The female owl laid two white eggs, and then the pair took care of them. The incubation period was around 25 days, and after that, a young owl was born.

What is their conservation status?

Laughing owls were the species of birds that have been fully Extinct since July of 1914. These birds were found only in their native country, New Zealand. The last bird was found dead at the Bluecliff station in Canterbury, and after that, there has been no sign of these birds, and they disappeared from the face of this earth.

Laughing Owl Fun Facts

What do laughing owls look like?

Laughing Owl Interesting Facts What type of animal is a laughing owl? The laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) is a species of night bird belonging to the family Strigidae. These birds sleep during the day and wake up during the night.  What class of animal does the laughing owl belong to? The laughing owl animal is a bird species that belongs to the class of Aves.  How many laughing owls are there in the world? The laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) bird has been fully Extinct since the early 20th century, specifically in 1914. The laughing owl was a bird that was only found in its native country, New Zealand, and nowhere else in the world.  Where does a laughing owl live? Laughing owl birds were only found in New Zealand. These birds preferred to reside in rocky areas like the rocky mountains or low rainfall areas. This owl was also seen building its nest on the ground of the dense forests of the regions.  What is a laughing owl's habitat? The laughing owl's habitat was dense areas like rocky regions and forests. These birds liked to chase their prey by feet and not by flying. They usually built their nests on the ground where they could catch their food easily. They could also find their offspring easy food.  Who do laughing owls live with? Like the other species, the laughing owl was usually found living solitarily. These birds came together in the mating season. Otherwise, they lived far away in distance away from other animals throughout their life. These creatures usually lived near their prey so that they could easily hunt them.  How long does a laughing owl live? The lifespan of these species of birds is not known. Sufficient resources weren't available in the 20th century to conduct studies on their lifespan. These birds had gone Extinct within 40 years of their discovery. The estimate, however, is that they could have lived for more than 30 years.  How do they reproduce? The mating season of the laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) began in September or October. The pair used to come together and perform the mating process. After the process was done, they built their nest on the bare ground in the rocky areas, covered with dried grasses. The female owl laid two white eggs, and then the pair took care of them. The incubation period was around 25 days, and after that, a young owl was born.  What is their conservation status? Laughing owls were the species of birds that have been fully Extinct since July of 1914. These birds were found only in their native country, New Zealand. The last bird was found dead at the Bluecliff station in Canterbury, and after that, there has been no sign of these birds, and they disappeared from the face of this earth.  Laughing Owl Fun Facts What do laughing owls look like? *Please note that this is an image of a snowy owl, not a laughing owl. If you have an image of a laughing owl, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.  https://pixabay.com/photos/owl-snowy-owl-laugh-smile-animals-4227598/  (The female laughing owls were usually larger in size than the male owls.)  The laughing owl was dark brown with yellow stripes on the edge of its feathers. The neck and the scapular were white, and the tail was a light brown. The owl had dark orange eyes, and the size of its body was double the size of a common morepork.  How cute are they? These species of owls were very cute and adorable as they had baby faces and loud vocalizations. Because of this, they were captured by humans and were kept in museums and zoos.  How do they communicate? The laughing owl produced a loud cry, which is why it was named the laughing owl. This bird used to communicate with high-pitched chattering. These noises also sounded like mewing notes, whistles, or chuckles.  How big is a laughing owl? The size of a laughing owl was around 14-15.7 in (35.5-40 cm) in length. These creatures were three times bigger than a medium-sized bird.  How high can a laughing owl fly? There is no information on how high a laughing owl could fly.  How much does a laughing owl weigh? The average weight of a laughing owl was up to 21 oz (600 g).  What are the male and female names of the species? These birds were known as the male laughing owl and the female laughing owl in general.  What would you call a baby laughing owl? A baby laughing owl was known as an owlet.  What do they eat? The diet of the laughing owl bird contained food like small insects like earthworms and rats. These birds also fed on small seabirds and small animals like lizards, rabbits, and cats.  Are they loud? Yes, laughing owls were very loud creatures. These owls were given their name because of the loud cry they produced that sometimes sounded like the barking of a puppy or the cooing of two men. Different people described them differently.  Would they make a good pet? These birds are Extinct, but if we were to assume that these birds still existed, they would not make good pets as they'd sleep the whole day and stay up all night. They would vocalize very loudly and disturb the neighborhood.  Did you know... The only proof, to date, that the laughing owl existed are the 17 eggs and 57 specimens that were found in public collections.  These birds didn't actually have the ability to smile. Their neck muscles went off in waves to help the bird send air in and out of its body and self-regulate its body temperature.  These birds were said to be similar to hyenas because of the creepy 'laughing' sounds they make.  Why did the laughing owl go Extinct? Laughing owls went Extinct because their habitat was developed into farms. New predators were born, and humans started hunting them and keeping them in their museums. These creatures were specially adapted for hunting in woodlands as their short wings gave them great maneuverability but ended up falling prey to their predators.  How do laughing owls sound like? The sound of a laughing owl, commonly called the white-faced owl, was like the bark of a puppy, a hoot, a whistle, or a chuckle.  Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our brant facts and flycatcher facts pages.   You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable baby owl coloring pages.
*Please note that this is an image of a snowy owl, not a laughing owl. If you have an image of a laughing owl, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

(The female laughing owls were usually larger in size than the male owls.)

The laughing owl was dark brown with yellow stripes on the edge of its feathers. The neck and the scapular were white, and the tail was a light brown. The owl had dark orange eyes, and the size of its body was double the size of a common morepork.

How cute are they?

These species of owls were very cute and adorable as they had baby faces and loud vocalizations. Because of this, they were captured by humans and were kept in museums and zoos.

How do they communicate?

The laughing owl produced a loud cry, which is why it was named the laughing owl. This bird used to communicate with high-pitched chattering. These noises also sounded like mewing notes, whistles, or chuckles.

How big is a laughing owl?

The size of a laughing owl was around 14-15.7 in (35.5-40 cm) in length. These creatures were three times bigger than a medium-sized bird.

How high can a laughing owl fly?

There is no information on how high a laughing owl could fly.

How much does a laughing owl weigh?

The average weight of a laughing owl was up to 21 oz (600 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

These birds were known as the male laughing owl and the female laughing owl in general.

What would you call a baby laughing owl?

A baby laughing owl was known as an owlet.

What do they eat?

The diet of the laughing owl bird contained food like small insects like earthworms and rats. These birds also fed on small seabirds and small animals like lizards, rabbits, and cats.

Are they loud?

Yes, laughing owls were very loud creatures. These owls were given their name because of the loud cry they produced that sometimes sounded like the barking of a puppy or the cooing of two men. Different people described them differently.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are Extinct, but if we were to assume that these birds still existed, they would not make good pets as they'd sleep the whole day and stay up all night. They would vocalize very loudly and disturb the neighborhood.

Did you know...

The only proof, to date, that the laughing owl existed are the 17 eggs and 57 specimens that were found in public collections.

These birds didn't actually have the ability to smile. Their neck muscles went off in waves to help the bird send air in and out of its body and self-regulate its body temperature.

These birds were said to be similar to hyenas because of the creepy 'laughing' sounds they make.

Why did the laughing owl go Extinct?

Laughing owls went Extinct because their habitat was developed into farms. New predators were born, and humans started hunting them and keeping them in their museums. These creatures were specially adapted for hunting in woodlands as their short wings gave them great maneuverability but ended up falling prey to their predators.

How do laughing owls sound like?

The sound of a laughing owl, commonly called the white-faced owl, was like the bark of a puppy, a hoot, a whistle, or a chuckle.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our brant facts and flycatcher facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable laughing owl coloring pages.

*Please note that this is an image of a snowy owl, not a laughing owl. If you have an image of a laughing owl, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

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