Tracking the nighttime travels of the cryptic powerful owl

How much space does a powerful owl need to live the good life in Melbourne's suburbs? Researchers trapping and tagging up to 10 of Australia's largest owl species are about to find out.

The notoriously shy bird of prey with its startled "what are you looking at?" eyes is traditionally a forest species, though they are known to live around the green wedges and parks of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. However, little is known about their nighttime travel habits in urban areas, making conservation work a challenge.

Listed as threatened in Victoria, the powerful owl is a fearsome predator, targeting ringtail and brushtail possums, flying foxes and even cats.

Deakin University environmental science honours student Nick Bradsworth said while there was no shortage of food for the owls in urban areas, the question of how much space they needed to live and breed well in suburbia remained unanswered.

Read the full story at the Sydney Morning Herald website.


 and   @birdsinbackyards
                 Subscribe to me on YouTube