Now that's an urban Powerful Owl!

As the weather cools down, breeding Powerful Owls all along the east coast are inspecting hollows and getting ready for another, hopefully bumper, breeding season. However this also means that birds are on the move, particularly juveniles, as they leave mum and dad and head out to explore the world on their own.

In the last month we have had reports of Powerful Owls showing up in the most unusual locations, particularly in Sydney.

  • In the Sydney CBD on Kent Street there was a young bird found dead from window strike but thankfully other urban adventurous owls have been luckier. 
  • On the Northern Beaches a Powerful Owl chick spent a stressful day sitting in a one tree island beside a four lane road at peak hour. Luckily she made it home late in the evening. Thank you citizen scientists Andrew, Jacqui and Neil who found this chick, documented her progress and made sure she was safely away from the road at days end.
  • And again on the Northern Beaches, within view of the WIRES office, a young bird spent the day hanging out in a warehouse before making an escape at dusk.
  • At Girraween a young bird was hanging out on a car for a a few hours
  • Just two weeks ago a Powerful Owl in Castle Hill managed to get himself stuck inside a shopping centre. Unfortunately the options to catch a bird in such a large space are very limited. Sydney Wildlife members put in a sterling effort with the support of centre management staff, and after five days managed to lure him out at last, using recorded calls.

With more people out watching, and potentially more Powerful Owls in the urban landscape, these birds are showing up in increasingly urban locations. Just what this means for the survival of the birds is still unknown, but you can help us by getting involved in the Powerful Owl project in Brisbane, Greater Sydney and Melbourne. Our amazing teams of citizen scientists provide vital data on where these birds are and how they are coping in our urban landscape. This allows us to work with local councils and others to ensure the birds and their habitat are being protected.

Brisbane: contact Rob - or check out the Brisbane Powerful Owls facebook group

Greater Sydney: contact Beth - or check out the Powerful Owl Project facebook page

Melbourne: whilst we don't have a coordinated monitoring program in Melbourne yet, email your sightings to -

 and   @birdsinbackyards
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