Powerful owl in suburban Brisbane taking a crow

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Roseybee
Roseybee's picture
Powerful owl in suburban Brisbane taking a crow

Hi 

Last night my husband and I heard a kerfuffle in the front garden near the chook pen. Having lost a few chickens to various predators he went out to investigate and was absolutely stunned to see a powerful owl very low in a cadagi tree - about 1 metre away from him with a crow clutched in 1 foot. 

Unfortunately him shining the torch disturbed the owl enough to release the crow which flew off and the powerful owl leaving soon after.  I live in suburban Brisbane - but surrounded by national park. Never thought we would have one on the property. Has anyone else ever observed a PO with crow as prey? 

Holly
Holly's picture

Hi Roseybee - fantastic sighting, thanks for letting us know about it. 

I havent personally seen a PO with a crow but they have been seen with other similar sized birds (magpie, cockatoos etc) so a crow is a likely item.
Would have been amazing to see!

 

Devster
Devster's picture

It would be great if the Powerful Owls started culling the crows as there are way too many of them.

Would have been awesome to see.

Woko
Woko's picture

Devster, do you mean the "crows" are in more than usual abundance? Are they excluding other species? What do you think might be the cause of their unnatural abundance (if this is the case)? If they are over abundant could there be other things that need to be altered in the environment to rectify this?

Devster
Devster's picture

I just noticed that the Torresian Crows have taken over Woko.

Every afternoon they all gather together and make a huge ruckus.

There would be 50 or so, probably more.

I have seen them annoy BOP other than that, they don't annoy other birds like the noisy minors do, but they will land near a Kooka, magpie etc and the bird will then fly off.

The Galahs and Corellas don't seemed to be intimidated by them though, nor do the Rainbow & Scaly Lorikeets.

I have no idea what has caused the unnatural abundance. Their ability to adapt to human surroundings I guess and no natural preditors.

Before them it was the Indian Minors.

No idea what needs to change.

All I know is that there is a butt load of them.

Woko
Woko's picture

Sometimes a particular species will gather in high numbers because a particular food is available at a specific time of the year. Could your over abundance of "crows" be a seasonal thing?  I don't suppose neighbors are artificially feeding them? 

I'm interested in "before them it was the Indian minors (sic)". Are you saying that the "crows" have successfully competed with Indian Mynahs?

Devster
Devster's picture

It does seem that way Woko, unless it is a seasonal thing.

We had quite a few in our neighbourhood but the have seemed to have moved elsewhere.

Woko
Woko's picture

If the Indian Mynah movement is a result of an over abundance of crows then go the mighty crows, I say.

jason

Recently I drove past a Crow attacking what I thought was a Mynah.  The Mynah was on its back and the Crow looked like it was pretty serious about things.  I couldn't stop unfortunately but wondered if it was trying to gut it like they do to Cain Toads.  I have to say, I'm happy we have no large gathering of Crows or Mynah's around my locality.  I do have some Noisy Miner though. 

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Shirley Hardy
Shirley Hardy's picture

The over abundance of Torresian Crows is a seasonal thing. Its actually more like an annual event, like a human family reunion. (Australian King Parrots also have annual family reunions too.) I've been studying Torresian Crows here in Tenterfield since about 1996-7, and I have concluded that they are extremely social birds. They actually do a few things us humans do. For instance, when an offspring is courting a potential mate in another Crow's territory, one of the parents will escort the offspring to the other territory and then leave and fly back home again. Not before calling out to the other Crows I might add. I've personally witnessed the crows enmasse for 2 years in a row. It seems to happen here in Autumn, around April, when it does happen. It actually looks like they went somewhere enmasse together, and as they do a circuit around town, the entire flock seems to escort itself to each "families'" territory, and drops off each family before moving on (minus that particular family of crows of course). It strangely reminded me of a bunch of humans taking a road trip together in a bus. The flock of crows enmasse is the bus (hyperthetically speaking), but the individual families of crows get off the bus when they have reached home. I have no idea why they do this but I suspect it may be a learned behaviour (from us humans). It may be, I suspect, the time when they teach each other new skills, so the whole community can adapt better to their environment, etc for the benefit of their own survival. The Australian Magpies do something very similiar from time to time which is not, I believe, a part of their normal behaviour. I suspect birds watch us and study our behaviour more than we realise (or want to think). Torresian Crows are thinkers but sometimes us humans stress them out, and even upset them emotionally. I know this sounds stupid but I reckon the crows get together and talk about the problems they have with us humans. I've seen the two resident crows, one in particular, get so upset over what a human was doing to it, it needed to be consoled by a neighbouring crow. The end result - the resident crows moved house several weeks later. I'm no expert but that's what it looks like to me.

I'm at Tenterfield, NSW. (Formerly known as "Hyperbirds".)

jason

Drifting off topic, as it's a real can of discussion animal's consciousness. 

But I had pondered if a couple dive bombing Kookaburras I came across years ago had picked it up from some near by Magpies.  Perhaps as habitat is reduces and birds are forced into new conditions, and perhaps desperation, they turn to behaviour once noticed but never practiced.  

I personally side on they have some level of feelings, and probably learn from experience.  

I watched with much guilt, for a week, two doves perch on the power lines and pine for their future newborn that was in a nest in an exotic tree I felled.  The nest and egg were realised all too late and a cracked egg produced a well developed youngling.  It may be very possible in the animal world discussion is done, ideas formed, and alternative actions implemented. In the human world we do this to understand it and making it better.  But it’s a long way to go on animals before us humans will be fair to the world we live on. 

Perhaps when global warming really gets going the humans will discover what a rapidly change world really is, and how powerless they are to stop it.  Probably how the animals are feeling now.  Humans real problem will then be realised in full, but we have no one above us that can make the difference happen. Lets just hope there are plenty of smart crows aongst us, and who have the power and influence to make all the differance now.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
Woko's picture

I'm reluctanct to ascribe to birds human attributes. If birds have the capacity to model their behaviour on human behaviour then surely that capacity is extremely limited.

Also, could I suggest that we be careful about using terms such as "over abundance", particularly where the increase in abundance is due to seasonal or other natural factors. The term "over abundance" is an invitation to red necks to sally forth, all guns blazing.

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