Powerful Owl

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Powerful OwlGenus: Ninox
Species: Ninox strenua
Common names: Powerful Owl
ALA reference

Recently when I went to check a patch of weeds that I was intending to spray with herbicide I found the foliage splashed with brilliant white bird droppings. Thinking this must be under a favourite bird roosting spot I looked up to see where that might be. Imagine my surprise when I found that right above my head, high up in the thick foliage of an Elaeocarpus obovatus tree, was a huge Powerful Owl. Closer inspection (through binoculars) revealed that it was hanging on to the hind quarters of a brushtail possum. I believe that it probably ate the front part of the possum when it killed it the night before and then finished off the hind quarters the next night before flying off.
The Powerful Owl is Australia’s largest nocturnal bird. It is a carnivore feeding mainly on tree dwelling marsupials such as Ringtail Possums, Brushtail Possums and Gliders. It will also take roosting birds and smaller ground dwelling mammals.

(October 2010)

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