The Powerful Owl
Dr. Rayleen Cook and Dr. John White of Deakin University discussed the Powerful Owl and its distribution on the Mornington Peninsula.
The Powerful Owl is a large bird and the largest Australian owl. It’s wingspan can be up to 2 metres. It therefore requires a large tree hollow to nest in – 100 year old trees, – with large trunks, are ideal but they are becoming increasingly scarce with so many new housing developments and the loss of trees.
The birds are not easy to find but when they are found devices can be attached to their wings and used to track their flight paths. Maps of their flight paths show that densely treed landscapes are most popular with connecting trees between stands of trees. Devilbend Reservoir Reserve is a well populated spot as compared to areas adjacent to built up areas.
As owls sleep during the day they want trees with a dense canopy, like pittosporums, to hide in.
Possums are their favourite food.
Densely treed areas also provide a safer environment for fledglings when they are learning to hunt.
This is one of a series of talks organised by Friends of Coolart Homestead in conjunction with Mornington Peninsula Landcare.