Decapitated bird ...

To: "'David McDonald (personal)'" <>, 'Canberrabirds' <>
Subject: Decapitated bird ...
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2019 06:06:15 +0000

It is a little photo but I would be very confident that it is a Tawny Frogmouth. Foot matches that, as does all available plumage info. Odd though that the head & wing is removed but little sign of having been plucked or eaten. As for Pallid Cuckoo, it is very grey, so that would only fit an adult of them but they don’t have white wing spots. The pattern doesn’t fit Pallid Cuckoo. As for predator, well, take your pick, possible Powerful Owl, or because of size, probably Brown Goshawk more likely than Collared Sparrowhawk. Ravens will also remove heads sometimes.




From: David McDonald (personal) [
Sent: Sunday, 17 February, 2019 2:12 PM
To: Canberrabirds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Decapitated bird ...


Greetings. A neighbour sent me this photo, writing 'Hi David, found this decapitated bird this am halfway along Ryan’s, what do you think it is and who killed it, an owl?' ('Ryan's' is Ryans Road, Wamboin.)

I suggest that is a Pallid Cuckoo despatched by a Powerful Owl, or perhaps by a Collared Sparrowhawk.

Your suggestions, please - David


David McDonald
1004 Norton Road
Wamboin NSW 2620
M: 0416 231 890 (national)
M: +61 416 231 890 (international)

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