Went for a waterfall hunt with Don Wilson yesterday in an obscure part of the Strathbogies and came across this Powerful Owl during our travels. I would of walked straight under it had it not been for Don’s keen eye. As we tried to get in range for a shot it flew off three times but would land nearby and eventually we found a happy medium, close enough to get the shot but not so close it would fly away.
I must also thank Don for the lend of his 100-400mm (and he can thank me for a lend of my 1.4x and 2.0x haha) which enabled me to get this shot. I’m sure Don as per usual will post a better shot than mine soon.
The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), is a species of owl native to south-eastern and eastern Australia, the largest owl on that continent. It is found in coastal areas, the Great Dividing Range rarely more than 200 km inland. The IUCN Red List refers to this species as Powerful Boobook, however this is not used as a common name in Australia. A powerful owl can easily rip apart another owl when fighting over territory in mating season. If the female owl gets hurt, the male will leave and find another mate to breed with.
The Powerful Owl has large yellow eyes, grey-brown V-barring on all features and dull yellow feet. They are aptly named, with very powerful and heavy claws. This owl is the largest species of the “hawk owl” group. This species measures 45–65 cm (18–26 in) in length and spans 112–135 cm (44–53 in). Unlike in most owl species, the male, at 1.15–1.7 kg (2.5–3.7 lb) is slightly larger than the female, at 1.05–1.6 kg (2.3–3.5 lb). Some authors claim weights of up to 2.2 kg (4.9 lb).
The Powerful Owl is a nocturnal predator of forests and woodlands. Its diet consists of flighted mammals such as grey-headed flying-fox, (Pteropus poliocephalus), arboreal marsupials such as the Greater Glider, ringtail possums, brushtail possums, Koala, Sugar Glider and Feathertail Glider, nocturnal birds such as the Tawny Frogmouth and roosting diurnal birds such as cockatoos and parrots, kookaburras, currawongs and honeyeaters. Insects are taken on the wing. The vast majority of prey is taken from trees including unlikely items such as rock-wallabies that sometimes take refuge in trees, (check out those claws!).
The Powerful Owl is listed as being endangered in Victoria.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D mkII
Lens: EF100-400mm 5/4.5-5.6L IS USM + 2.0x @ 800mm
Shutter Speed: 1/60th sec
When: 5:09pm on 14/11/2012
$30 a month from photography sales donated to the Wilderness Society