On Thursday, around 5.20pm, I was dragged from my desk by the call of a
Barking Owl fairly close by.
The double bark went on for a while, always with a preceding grunt or growl.
It happened again the next night, same time. And the next night - always
just a little before dark, always from the same general location.
So, on Sunday afternoon, Eileen and I were ready. We stationed ourselves
alongside the creek about 50 metres up from the house, with binoculars,
camera and spotlight all at the ready. And, nothing!
We've heard Barking Owls here before a few times. Always in winter.
I can see that this could be prime habitat for them. The riparian vegetation
is quite extensive, including several Eucalyptus teretocornis (Forest/River
Red Gum) said to be one of their favourite trees. Other than that there is
plenty of open, savannah-type country around here. But, although we're
revegetating as much as we can, we don't have big old trees with hollows
suitable for nesting.
American visitors have told us wonderful stories of success with nest boxes
for owls. I'll have to look in the birding-aus archives for info about
artificial nest sites.
Lockyer Valley, Queensland.
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