Powerful Owls

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Powerful Owls
From: "Allan Benson" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 19:48:01 +1100
I've just purchased a portable spotlight with a SLA battery ($104 all up
from Battery World including a 55 watt spotlight. Thanks to all the comments
on Birding Aus re spotlights.) When my 16 year old son, heard an unusual
call outside on Christmas night, he grabbed the spotlight and found "some
white owls" which he thought where either Masked or Barn Owls. He got me out
of bed but the owls had moved  However, we could still here the contact
call quite close.

We live right next to the bush with a wet gully opposite the lower half of
our block. I don't go into it very often as it is very thick and the
wait-awhile vines make it somewhat unpleasant so we debated for some time
whether we would go in the middle of the night. Braving the bush, we worked
our way towards the call and there they were. Three Powerful Owls - an adult
and two juveniles. The adult had caught some prey- maybe a possum or bush
rat- anyway it was grey and was the young were feeding on it. The adult then
flew to an adjacent branch while the young finished off their meal.

Ian first saw the juveniles with their white breast thus his impression of a
Masked or Barn.

We have lived here for nearly four years. I've heard Powerful's call once
from that area but we have frequently heard the now identified contact call.

The Central Coast Bird Report describes the Powerful Owl as an  uncommon
resident with only two sighting and one heard in 1998 but in 1999 there were
5 sightings and 6 reports of birds calling.  In each year the bird had been
heard calling in my general area.

This will be the first confirmed breeding record for the Central Coast.

Allan Benson
Niagara Park

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