Re: Sooty Owl on Mt Glorious

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Re: Sooty Owl on Mt Glorious
From: Carl Billingham <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 19:26:48 -0700 (PDT)
Point taken about the size and colouration Greg - always difficult to spot 
relative size differences unless they are both sitting side by side.  It was 
pretty damn cold up there last night (for Queensland) so it might have been 
puffed up a bit which would account for the difference in build I 'perceived'.  
All I can say is it just appeared chunkier than the usual Tawnies I see.  Mind 
you I have also seen huge variation in the size of Tawnies depending on their 
posture as well as the location around Australia.

Yes, the lack of really visible dark streaking on the chest was definitely 
noticeable and may have altered my perception of colour a bit as well, although 
it did appear paler and generally less 'grey' compared with the Tawny's I am 
used to.  Maybe my batteries in my torch were charged a little better last 
night providing more light than usual;-)   It was located in the crook of a 
tree so I couldn't get a look at the relative length of the tail, which I know 
is one of the main diagnostics.   

The eye colour was definitely orange/vermilion and not yellow - I know not 
necessarily a reliable diagnostic, however, taking into account the rainforest 
habitat and number of records for this species on this section of track I still 
stand by my initial identification of it being a Marbled rather than Tawny 

One other interesting thing I noticed was that when I used the BOCA playback of 
the frogmouth calls later on I got immediate responses to the Marbled Frogmouth 
race plumiferus section of the recording only.  They remained completely silent 
for the race marmoratus calls.  I suppose it must be like hearing the 
difference between an Aussie and a Kiwi accent to Marbled Frogmouths;-)


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