Rufous Owl in South West WA

To: "Paul Dodd" <>
Subject: Rufous Owl in South West WA
From: "Kurtis Lindsay" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 17:19:38 +1000
Paul, David and others,

I am not automatically dismissing Amy's belief that she saw an Owl (neither
did I dismiss that owl species include birds in their diet). I am simply
suggesting one of the other more likely options than a tropical-northern
Rufous Owl appearing in the temperate South West of Australia.

In relation to the perching habits of owls & goshawks, upon a search through
my records I found one sighting from September last year of a lone adult
Brown Goshawk, which was "perched atop Gordon shopping centre (northern
Sydney) for over two hours, much to the distress of local pigeons". The bird
was not asleep! It was afternoon and the bird was calmly perched 'watching'
the cars drive by.             I would often walk by, expecting for the bird
to have left but it remained stationary in that one spot for the next two

On the note of confusing a goshawk for a hawk-owl, I would like to know how
many non birders would be able to identify ‘which is which’ from front on
photos of either bird. Better still, why don’t we put together a collage of
photos portraying each species to test our ‘non-birding’ friends and family’s
identification or should I say, ‘guessing’ skills.

Paul Dodd said “I think it's a big call to suggest that
someone has confused an Owl with a Goshawk.”

I think you should wake up to reality Paul, the two birds in question look
similar, and to a non-birder would appear remarkably similar even identical.
In addition, taxonomists don’t call owls of the Ninox genus hawk-owls for

I have been through this thread before and even brought it up on a number of
occasions, the majority of Australians are IGNORANT when it comes to nature
as a whole (not just birds).                        Regularly I am asked
questions which I find ridiculous, but to the common ‘non-birder’ these
questions would be quite genuine. Real examples include "what’s the
difference between a crow, currawong and magpie?" all the way through to
"are penguins a bird or a mammal?" I always answer questions like the latter
to the best of my ability, trying to educate at the same time, and I
encourage others to do the same.

I hope we can continue to support & encourage Amy with her bird
identification, we may even be privileged to see some photos of this mystery
You never know we might even have another grey-headed lapwing or red-legged
crake case on our hands!


Kurtis Lindsay

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