FW: Do Powerful Owls eat carrion?

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: FW: Do Powerful Owls eat carrion?
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 06:48:33 +0000
Good Point Philip

I have only seen possums and birds under their feeding/roost tree a few years 
back when I knew where it was.  I still find many possum entrails which appear 
to be from the local Powerful Owl.  I have never seen any terrestrial 
vertebrates at all.  In fact there was a dead Sugar Glider on the ground in his 
territory the other day - untouched.



> On 21 Mar 2016, at 1:30 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
> Oops whatever is "Terestrail"? My spell checker put that in. Of course that 
> should be "terrestrial".
> Philip
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Philip Veerman  
> Sent: Monday, 21 March 2016 1:20 PM
> To: 'Tony Russell'; 'Michael Norris'; 
> Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Do Powerful Owls eat carrion?
> 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).
> Philip
> -----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 
> possae. 
> Tony.
> -----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 corpses.
> Michael Norris
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