Turner, the powerful owl update

To: 'Don Fletcher' <>
Subject: Turner, the powerful owl update
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 01:15:23 +0000

In March I proposed the below as a young brushtail.  Any other views?



From: John Bundock [
Sent: Tuesday, 25 August 2015 10:26 AM
To: 'Don Fletcher'; 'Mark Clayton'; 'Janet Russell'; 'Martin Butterfield'
Cc: 'Philip Veerman'; 'Terry Bird'; 'COG List'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Turner, the powerful owl update




I was overseas when Powl was first sighted. My first observations of it was in mid December.  I was again overseas  for 6 weeks May-June. At other times I’ve observed the bird about every 4 days. Each time I photograph it, so that the photos can be examined for prey.


January: 1 ringtail; February: 1 ringtail, 1 sulphur-crested cocky; March: 0 prey; April: 2 ringtail, 1 sugar glider, 1 crimson rosella; May: 1 ringtail, 1 sugar glider; June: 1 sugar glider; July: 2 sugar gliders; August: 1 ringtail, 1 sugar glider.


John Bundock



From: Don Fletcher
Sent: Tuesday, 25 August 2015 7:42 AM
To: 'Mark Clayton'; 'John Bundock'; 'Janet Russell'; 'Martin Butterfield'
Cc: 'Philip Veerman'; 'Terry Bird'; 'COG List'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Turner, the powerful owl update


Hi Mark, John and all


Indeed.  I have wondered if the frequency of sugar gliders lately among Powls Prey may indicate time is running out for Powl’s sojurn in the suburbs.  Ringtail Possums are a favoured prey of Powls, and of particular interest in this case because they are generally uncommon in the ACT region but are found  in local patches of higher abundance, one of which is Black Mt Nature Reserve. I had the impression ring-tails were more frequent prey after Powl first arrived in Turner.  Do you agree?  Sugar Gliders tend to  be found in all local bushland areas so Powl could be getting Sugar Gliders from quite a range of places.  But the smaller species is likely to make hunting inefficient.  Unfortunately no Greater Gliders are available within range of Turner.  (As an aside, since the 2003 fire GG have been less common at Tidbinbilla - an old Powl hunting spot but one where Powls became extremely difficult to find in the decade after the fire). Brush-tailed Possums are common in the suburbs but probably a bit too big and dangerous so we seem to lack medium bodied arboreal prey other than ring-tailed possums.




Don Fletcher

0428 48 9990

Sent from my home email address


From: Mark Clayton
Sent: Friday, 21 August 2015 13:22
To: 'John Bundock'; 'Janet Russell'; 'Martin Butterfield'
Cc: 'Philip Veerman'; 'Terry Bird'; 'COG List'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Turner, the powerful owl update




Your photo is indeed a Sugar Glider. I am surprised at the number of his species that Powl has managed to get his talons into.




From: John Bundock
Sent: Friday, 21 August 2015 9:42 AM
To: 'Janet Russell'; 'Martin Butterfield'
Cc: 'Philip Veerman'; 'Terry Bird'; 'COG List'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Turner, the powerful owl update


I think the photo I posted last Friday was of a sugar glider.


John Bundock



From: Janet Russell
Sent: Friday, 21 August 2015 9:35 AM
To: Martin Butterfield
Cc: Philip Veerman; Terry Bird; COG List
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Turner, the powerful owl update


Is the commuting range of the powerful owl known?

On Thursday, 20 August 2015, Martin Butterfield <> wrote:

I looked up the Atlas of Living Australia to see where they record Greater Gliders.  They have some 19,000 records of the species which is a pretty good sample.  At a very small scale the Gliders are in this area.

However zooming in shows that they are not too close to the Turner Bowlo.

Using Google Earth the closest record held by ALA is about 24km in a straight line from Turner.  Also, looking at the record more closely it is a Museum record 'collected' in 1955. 


In the same way as Quolls have been found in Belconnen in the medium past it may be possible that a particularly bold and/or hungry  Greater Glider has glided across from the Brindabellas to Black Mountain or Mount Ainslie.  Alternatively one wonders if the National Zoo had more Greater Gliders than is now the case?  I suspect the Zoo is just about within commuting range for the Turner bird.




On 19 August 2015 at 17:04, Philip Veerman <m("')","_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','pveerman");;" target="_blank">> wrote:

I wonder where it would find a greater glider within commuting distance of


-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Bird [mailto:m("')","_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','terrybellbird");;" target="_blank">]
Sent: Wednesday, 19 August 2015 2:55 PM
To: chatline canberrabirds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Turner, the powerful owl update

Undeterred from their exertions on the very successful mid-week visit to
Campbell Park the two Terriers then called in to the Canberra North Bowling
Club to provide this report. Firstly, as we suspected the owl does change
perching locations in this area and obviously is often hard to find. Thanks
to the perseverance of T1 it was found in a very dense cypress type tree,
third from road, next to the open drain. Last Friday it was observed
consuming a clearly identifiable greater glider and today a change of diet
perhaps. Photos from my basic digital camera suggest either a sugar glider
or a squirrel glider. For the benefit of a large and increasing COG
readership would some obliging member with sophisticated zoom equipment
visit Turner in it's new position to confirm the identity of the latest
predation. Thanking in you advance.................T2

Sent from my iPad

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