Powerful Owl Behaviour

Subject: Powerful Owl Behaviour
From: "Alex Zorba" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 22:38:12 -0700
Hi all,

I recently observed a PO in Brisbane and I have some questions about the
circumstances/possibilities of this encounter.

The bird dropped to the ground as I turned around, 30 seconds passed and he
flew up to his perch holding prey. I didn't see him catch or kill the
possum. The possum had been decapitated and there was no blood on the bird
or perch. As I was watching and photographing the Owl the Possum would
twitch. When it twitched the Owl would look down at it and appear to press
harder on the Possum. The time was 2:55PM.

As PO's hunt at night, this raises the question of why it was twitching. How
long does it take for Rigor mortis to set in? Is it possible that the birds
talon was hitting a nerve in the possum? Has daylight hunting been recorded
before? Do Possums such as this Ring-tailed sleep in hollows during the day?
or just somewhere in a tree? What would the estimated TOD be?

There is more of the story and an image here;

I hope someone can shed some light on the subject.

Thanks in advance,

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