Australian Owls, Frogmouths, and Nightjars: The Mystical Nocturnal Flyers

Australia is a land rich with diverse wildlife, and among its unique fauna, the nocturnal birds hold a mystical allure. In the serene veil of the night, Australian Owls, Frogmouths, and Nightjars take wing, each with distinct traits and behaviours that captivate those lucky enough to encounter them. At Running Duck Studio (RDS), this nocturnal mystique is captured in black-and-white ink, revealing the elegant and elusive nature of these night flyers.

Understanding the Australian Mystical Nocturnal Flyers

  • Australian Owls:
    • Powerful Owl: Known as the largest owl in Australia, its expressive eyes are a window into the nocturnal bushland.
    • Boobook: The smallest owl, yet with a presence that’s undeniably captivating.
    • Barn Owl: Its heart-shaped face and soft plumage make it a subject of many tales and artwork.
  • Tawny Frogmouth: Often mistaken for an owl, this bird has a unique character, with a wide frog-like mouth perfect for catching insects.
  • Nightjars (e.g., Australian Owlet-nightjar): With a cryptic appearance, they are the masters of camouflage, blending seamlessly with the bark of trees.

Captured in Ink: The Nocturnal Collection at RDS

The night has always held a kind of magic for me, a quiet yet profound space where nature speaks its ancient stories. When dusk falls and the world settles into silence, a different kind of life takes flight. The Australian Owls, Frogmouths, and Nightjars are among those elusive narrators of the nocturnal saga. Their silent wings whisper the tales of the unseen, of the overlooked, and of the wild untamed.

Here at Running Duck Studio, I find my inspiration in these mystical night flyers. Each stroke of my hand-inked drawings is a tribute to their quiet, enigmatic beauty. The philosophy that guides the heart of RDS is simple yet profound – a love and connection with animals and nature. It’s about capturing those fleeting moments, the ones that hold a world of stories, of memories, of the wild and free. And what better way to narrate the mystery of the night than through the eyes of these nocturnal wonders?

The Nocturnal Collection at RDS is more than just artwork. It’s a journey into the heart of the night. The black and white palette is a deliberate choice, one that echoes the elegance, sophistication, and timeless beauty of these creatures. In the absence of colour, every emotion, every stroke comes alive, resonating with the pure essence of the wild.

Featured Artwork:

In each piece, I strive to bring a part of the Australian wilderness into your space, hoping that the silent wings of the night find a way to whisper their tales in the corners of your home. The artwork is not just a decor piece, but a window to the wild, an invitation to embrace the natural world, its stories, its essence.

Take a moment to explore the Nocturnal Collection on RDS. Each drawing is more than just a purchase; it’s an opportunity to bring home a piece of the night, a fragment of the wild, a narrative waiting to be explored.



A Lady, lashes long, stance elegant. A veil, eyes hidden, a subtle mask shared with the world. Ink sketch of an Australian Greater Sooty ...


I'm Here For You - owl

'I am Here for You - 2 Love Owls' is a hand-drawn ink artwork that embodies the fascinating world of barn owls. This black and white draw...


Colours In The Night

In the hushed stillness of my studio, as the world outside succumbed to twilight, 'Colours in the Night' emerged on my canvas, featuring ...


Silent Wings

A beautiful Barn Owl and Butterfly encounter. Completely opposite in nature but for their beauty and silence of flight. Inspired by th...


Thank You owl

This artwork was inspired by one of Mel Popes' rescued owls. Developing such a deep connection with the wildlife in her care resonates...


I See You - owl

Rescued wildlife I See You was created using old school ink pen and brush. The sweep of line congers the feeling of desperation and mo...

The Symbolism of Night Flyers

The nocturnal birds of Australia symbolise a deep connection with nature’s mysteries, embodying themes of wisdom, transition, and the unknown. Their elusive nature resonates with the philosophy of Running Duck Studio, echoing a love for the untamed and the poetic narrative inherent in wildlife.

  • Wisdom and Mystery:
    Owls, often associated with wisdom, carry a sense of ancient knowledge through their observant eyes. The mystery surrounding nightjars and frogmouths reflects the endless curiosity and appreciation for nature’s designs.
  • Transition and Adaptability:
    The ability of these birds to thrive in the darkness symbolises adaptability and the embracing of life’s transitions, a theme often explored in RDS artworks like “Silent Night – Beautiful Owl Flying“.
  • Narrative of the Night:
    Each drawing at RDS tells a story; the night flyers are no exception. They invite viewers to explore the tales unfolding under the cloak of dusk, creating a rich narrative that captivates the heart and stirs the imagination.

Bringing The Nocturnal to Your Space

  • Decor with a Tale:
    Incorporating the theme of nocturnal birds into your space is not just a decor choice, but a narrative addition. Through RDS’s artwork, the enchanting tales of the night can find a place in your home, infusing it with mystery and elegance.
  • Featured Collections:
    • The “Trusting Friendships – Girls and their Love of Owls” artwork is a perfect example of how the charm of these night flyers can be brought into your space.
    • Exploring other related collections on RDS will unveil more pieces that resonate with the nocturnal theme, each with a unique story to tell.

Australian owls 

I am a little biased as I really like the Tawny and my artistic journey intertwines the allure of owls in folklore, the unique charm of the tawny frogmouth, and the modern-day artistic renditions of these mysterious creatures. 

Here is a list of some of the Australian Owls
  • Barking Owl (Ninox connivens): Known for its dog-like bark, this owl is commonly found in drier woodland and forest zones, especially near watercourses. It preys on large insects, small to medium-sized mammals like Sugar Gliders, and small roosting birds​1​.
  • Rufous Owl (Ninox rufa): Distinguished by its rufous coloured plumage, this owl mostly inhabits rainforest zones and is native to the northern part of Australia including Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. Its diet comprises medium-sized mammals and birds​1​.
  • Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua): The largest owl species in Australia, it is found in the southern zones of Australia. Known for its territorial nature, it often preys on possums​2​​1​.
  • Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook): The smallest and most widespread owl in Australia, it is known for its distinctive double hoot. It roosts in dense foliage or tree hollows and feeds on large insects, small mammals, and birds​1​.
  • Christmas Island Boobook (Ninox natalis): Exclusive to Christmas Island, this owl’s diet includes large insects, reptiles, and amphibians. It has a rich reddy brown colouration​1​.
  • Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae): Closely related to the Southern Boobook, the Morepork is known for its brighter yellow eyes. Tasmanian populations are known to travel to mainland Australia during Spring​1​.
  • Barn Owl: Known for its heart-shaped facial disc, this owl is widespread and can adapt to various environments.
  • Masked Owl: This owl has a heart-shaped face similar to the Barn Owl but is larger in size.
  • Sooty Owl: Known for its dark sooty colouration, this owl has large dark eyes and often inhabits forests.
  • Southern Boobook: This small owl is commonly found across mainland Australia and is known for its distinctive call.

For the last four owls (Barn Owl, Masked Owl, Sooty Owl, Southern Boobook)  “The Owls of Australia” from Australian Geographic could be consulted​1​.

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