Powerful Owls

Birdlife Powerful Owl Project

Chris Lloyd a member of Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society, has co-ordinated the Georges River component of Birdlife Australia’s project on Powerful Owls since 2013. Chris worked with 150 volunteers to monitor 20 or so pairs of Australia’s largest owl as they hunt and breed along the river from Campbelltown to Taren Point

Chis Lloyd was presented with the St George Community Award for Environment Achievement in 2016. The Oatley Flora and Fauna Society recommended Chis Lloyd for his study into the Powerful Owls of the St George region.

Matt Mo and David Waterhouse OFF members published in 2015  their observations on a pair of Oatley Owlets in a paper in Australian Field Ornithology. This paper extends previous observations of behavioural development in Powerful Owl Ninox strenua fledglings. The study combines a near-daily visual monitoring program on a pair of owlets in Oatley, suburban Sydney, New South Wales, with corresponding pellet analysis.

The fledglings were initially fed on possums, fruit-bats, birds and insects, and first demonstrated independence by disassembling carcasses by themselves. By October, they apparently mimicked the adults’ strategy for capturing insects, and began to chase birds and bats. Behaviours thought to be part of honing their hunting skills—including tearing and ferrying strips of bark, foliage-snatching, and swooping at animals on the ground—were recorded. Such actions intensified during a period when the adults were mostly absent in November and December.