|Widely distributed throughout the three main islands from sea level up to the bush line, the Morepork is strictly nocturnal, rarely leaving its roost during the day unless disturbed. The bird may fly off in search of prey in the early hours of dusk before actual nightfall.|
The sexes are alike in appearance but the female is generally slightly bigger, growling to a length of around 29cm. The plumage varies from brownish grey to dusky brown with buff or whitish flecks. The flight feathers have downy edges which enable the bird to fly absolutely silently, a distinctive advantage for a bird of prey.
The species feed mainly on insects, but spiders, lizards, small birds, rats and mice are also amongst their prey. A parlicularly favourite delicacy is the weta, a large, wingless, horned grasshopper, well known in New Zealand. The breeding season starts with an increase in calling activity, usually around late August. Nest sites are most commonly found in tree hollows and the normal clutch is two eggs.