Rufous Owl in South West WA

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Rufous Owl in South West WA
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 19:45:22 +1000
Good point. While I once whistled in a grey goshawk, diurnal raptors generally don't hang around for people to gawk at them.

As for the possibility of the bird being an escapee, how many owls are held in captivity? I know places like zoos and wildlife sanctuaries keep owls, but are there many in private hands?

Regards, Laurie.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 07:26  PM, David Stowe wrote:

I have seen a Barking Owl pursuing a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo!

I think we should be careful not to dismiss Amy's suggestion of an Owl. Plenty of people doubted Chris's report of a Barking Owl in suburban Sydney! Also surely Owl's are fairly easy to distinguish from a raptor like a Goshawk even for non-birders?? I would have also thought that an Owl would be much more likely to stay still in one spot under an awning than a Goshawk. Most Owls I have seen are quite still if they are roosting and allow close proximity of people whereas Goshawks etc rarely stay still and fly off very readily when people are present.

Let's hope some photos can be seen soon!

Thanks Amy for sharing your sighting.


On 11/09/2007, at 5:38 PM, John Leonard wrote:

Recently whilst being guided about in FNQ by Del Richards he informed me that recent studies in the Mt Molloy area have shown that Rufous Owls there
eat Blue-winged Kookaburras.

John Leonard

On 9/11/07, L&L Knight <> wrote:

Perhaps it is a foreign owl that's hitched a lift from Asia?

Following on from Kurtis' point, owls tend to eat mammals rather than
birds, whereas Goshawks tend to eat birds.  I think it would be a bit
unusual for an owl to take a magpie.

Regards, Laurie.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 09:41  AM,
<> wrote:

Dear All,

I had an amazing experience on Friday. (7th Sept.) I was walking down
street in Bridgetown (in south west WA) when something overhead caught
attetion. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw the biggest owl
have ever seen! I was seeing it from behind, as it was sitting on top
of a
sign outside a shop, and that sign was hanging from the rafters under
verandah.  When I walked around to see the front of it, another
It was holding a dead magpie in it's claws! Every now and then he/she
would take a bite out of it, although it was eating very slowly. The
of the shop said that it had been there since 8am and it was 11.30am by
the time I saw it.

I have no experience of owls and neither did any of the many other
that stood watching. I also did not have my camera, but many other
did so I am going to try to get a copy from someone. No-one knew what
of owl it was, but we all had the chance to observe it for a long
time, so
it was etched into my brain. When I got back home to my daughters
house, I
pulled out my ID books, and the only owl it could have been is the
Owl! My daughter agreed wholeheartedly!

I know, I know, you don't get Rufous Owls in the south west of WA, but
was talking to a local later on in the day and he said that about
eight of
them have been seen. Which of course could be the same bird eight
So obviously an escapee, but an amazing sight nonetheless.

It was one of the best birding experiences I have had in my short
of birdwatching.

Bye for now,
Amy Flatt - Happy Bird Watcher!


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