Powerful Owls nos in Sydney

To: Penny Brockman <>
Subject: Powerful Owls nos in Sydney
From: Chris Charles <>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 18:47:52 +1100
Yes there are many more Powerful Owls than there used to be in the area but I would guess at 3 pairs around Macquarie Uni judging by the density where I live about 4km downstream. That might mean up to 12 birds with their juveniles at this time of year. There is an abundance of Ringtails in the area so they do not need to travel far for a catch. The surrounding gardens, exotics & weeds such as privet also contribute to a year round food supply for the possums. At the moment it is common to see ringtails sitting out during the day, their dreys too hot & full of young. I have watched a female & 2 juvenile PO's sitting within a few metres of a grooming ringtail until the female shooed it away by beating her wings against her breast which didn't seem to be the action of a hungry normally silent hunter. There are also many old trees with a selection of nesting hollows in the area. The forested area has increased significantly in area & maturity in the past 50 years & the boys that used to have catapults & airguns now have Playstations. The field guide notes regarding pair ranges should be seen as referring to the non urban environment I suggest. There are also reports of Powerful Owls now roosting in nearby areas where they have not been seen before suggesting increasing population pressure. There have usually been 2 juveniles successfully raised each year in our tributary valley & there is a lone old female roosting close to this years family of 4, again going against the common knowledge of fierce protection of territory. It certainly seems to be good times for the Powerful Owl population - but I can't see 30 pairs.

Chris Charles

On 16/12/2007, at 12:21 AM, Penny Brockman wrote:

In the Sydney Morning Herald of 8/9 December, Joel Gibson in a nice little article on Koori time Page 33, mentions "about 30 pairs of 60 centimetre high Powerful Owls that haunt the night around Macquarie University". Would someone who lives in that part of Sydney like to comment on this rather high number of POs? That means 60 owls in all in this rather small area!!!

And this weekend 15/16 December, there is a large picture on the front page of Emperor Penquins with chick in the Antarctic, with a caption underneath that refers to Adelie Penquins. Where is the SMH's bird expert???


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