Re: SOS - owl kills

To: Alexandra Appleman <>
Subject: Re: SOS - owl kills
From: WM James Davis <>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 07:43:42 +1000 (EST)
   I hope you receive useful information to pass on to Queensland Rail.  I
have several thoughts that may be of use.  First, I assume that the owls
were spotted sitting on the tracks at night and the engineer used a light
to see them.  If so, would it be possible to turn off the light at least
momentarily?  If the light is shone directly into the bird's eye they are
likely to remain "glued" to their perch because they are temporarily
blinded by the light.  Given a reprive from the light the noise of the
train is more likely to scare them away.

  How does the engineer know that he hit the owls unless he was shining a
light on them?  How fast are the trains moving and how far a head does he
spot the owls sitting on the tracks? With this information you can
calculate how long the light would need to be turned off.  A good vet
specializing on birds could tell you how long the eyes of an
owl would need to recover after being blinded by a bright light.  Best of
luck and hope my opinions are useful.

Cheers, Jim Davis

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