Do Powerful Owls eat carrion?

To: 'Tony Russell' <>, 'Michael Norris' <>, "" <>
Subject: Do Powerful Owls eat carrion?
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 02:19:33 +0000
I suspect Tony missed the point of the question. Or maybe I have. Or is the 
question about whether possums are made sick from eating rat poison (or even 
poisoned rats). I think the question is concern for the owls if they eat dead 
poisoned rats. We know that Powerful Owls eat possums so that point is far from 
"impossumble" (ha ha). At this month's COG meeting Jerry Olsen talked about 
local raptors and made the point that Powerful Owls eat only animals caught in 
the tree level (arboreal). They are not interested in eating rats or other 
terrestrial fauna. Terestrail fauna apparently does not show in their pellets. 
Whether that is consistent throughout their range (well it likely is). So I 
would suggest on that, that the threat of poisoning from eating dead rats 
should be minimal to nonexistent. How would they find it? Although there is the 
recent photo of a PO holding shorts at a day time roost (presumably caught off 
someone's clothes line).


-----Original Message-----From: Birding-Aus 
 On Behalf Of Tony Russell
Sent: Monday, 21 March 2016 11:26 AM    To: 'Michael Norris'; 
       Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Do Powerful Owls 
eat carrion?

I think you'll find it not impossumble that the owl had possumbly killed the 


-----Original Message-----From: Birding-Aus 
 On Behalf Of Michael Norris    
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2016 10:12 AM   To:  
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Do Powerful Owls eat carrion?

The other day I saw a Powerful Owl near my home in suburban Melbourne, 16km 
from the CBD.  It was in a garden where a number of possums have been found 
dead so I’d like to know if these owls eat carrion.   My concern is that 
current rat baits can accumulate in the bodies of vertebrates that scavenge on 

Michael Norris

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