To: "" <>,
Subject: owls
From: Rod Kavanagh <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 11:08:37 +1000
Hi Lorne,

A few comments on below.

Please minimise/stop use of playback at the moment because the Powerful Owls
are now nesting.

I think the birds at Mitchell Park nest nearby, although I haven't tried to
find it.  You could try, in the first instance, by getting out there just
before dusk and quietly listening to hear the location of the roost site
being used by the male.  It is likely this will not be too far from the nest
at this time of the year.  Next, you need to stagwatch likely hollows nearby
and wait to see the female fly out at dusk (she will usually do this about
5-20 mins after the male begins calling at his roost site - provided you are
not too close, and you haven't upset the male in any way).
I just repeat - Powerfuls are incredibly wary and sensitive to disturbance
around the nest - this includes flashing torches around!!!.  But, give it a
go if you want to follow it up, and please let me know how you make out.
Your comment about someone losing an eye (to a POWL) is incorrect.  This did
happen in UK to a well known birdo/photographer named Hosking, but I think
it was a Tawny Owl or Eagle Owl that did the damage.  The Victorian
connection relates to an attack by a Powerful Owl on D. Gibbons and others
about 12-15 years ago (no damage done) after they had been making a series
of  investigations of the owls at the nest tree at night (including
photography?) (see Aust. Bird Watcher 1989 13, 58-59). I also have been
attacked by POWLs at night when near a nest tree, so you have got to be
careful!  Each pair varies incredibly in its level of aggression (or lack of
it) but it does happen!   I have even felt threatened during the day on one
occasion when I went too close to roosting owlets.  The male was going to
"have me"!

Regarding Rufous Owls - they are apparently very agressive around nests -
and I believe, most of the time.
I can also claim the dubious distinction of having been attacked by a Rufous
Owl at night near a nest tree.  During the same week, at another nest,
someone else was attacked during the day as he was climbing a nest tree and
the bird made a deep gash in his back.  I have heard many other similar
stories about Rufous Owls.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: lorne [SMTP:
> Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 7:16 PM
> To:   
> Subject:      [BIRDING-AUS] owls
> Last night about 10:30pm I called in two Powerful Owls at Mitchell Park,
> Cattai, in Sydney. Fantastic, as always!!! My work colleague, Dave, had
> never seen one before. The first evidence of their presence were flight
> shadows by our feet. It was a full moon. The distinctive two syllable
> call was eminated, with a particular upward inflection on the second
> note. Female calling probably. 
> I told Dave a story I heard about a man in Victoria who lost his eye
> after a Powerful Owl attack. Is this an urban myth or did it actually
> happen? Does anyone know? Have Rufous Owls ever damaged anyone?
> Cheers,
> LGJ.
> Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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