Powerful Owls

To: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Subject: Powerful Owls
From: David Stowe <>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 20:33:14 +1100
Hi Stephen
I saw a Powerful Owl fly out briefly over the traffic at Terry's Creek on Epping Road one night. Peak Hour traffic but dark. It flew out of the bush on the northern side of the road into the open space above the cars then quickly turned back and disappeared into the bush. It was at a height of at least 5 metres though. Didn't see anything that it was chasing but it all happened pretty quickly.

Dave Stowe

On 11/01/2007, at 3:07 PM, Stephen Ambrose wrote:

Hi Everyone,

There does seem to be several resident pairs of Powerful Owls in the bushland areas of the Lane Cove catchment area in the northern suburbs of Sydney. Individual owls are often recorded in suburban gardens at night, particularly in gardens close to bushland, and are probably searching for possums and flying-foxes.

Rod Kavanagh of NSW State Forests is probably the best person to comment on survival rates of offspring, longevity, and the status of PO nest hollows in the Sydney area. One thing that I am concerned about is the number of PO roadkills in the Lane Cove Catchment area. I've personally observed four PO roadkills in this area over the last 2 years, so there have probably been more road kills observed by others. All four roadkills were on busy arterial roads that are close or adjacent to bushland areas where POs were known to roost by day and presumably forage by night. This leads me to ask the following questions:

q        were these birds disturbed from their day-time roosts;

q were they immature birds who were inexperienced at dodging heavy traffic;

q were they pursuing prey at the time of being hit by a vehicle;

q has it become more difficult for Powerful Owls to dodge vehicles because of increased traffic on our roads and urban encroachment on their natural habitat; or

q have road kills been a function of increased numbers of Powerful Owls in the Lane Cove River Catchment Area?



Dr Stephen Ambrose

Ryde, NSW

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