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POWERFUL OWL } Ninox strenua

RANGE: Southeastern Australia

STATUS: Range and numbers of powerful owls are considered Stable. Owlpages.com considers this species Uncommon.

THREATS: Clearing for agriculture; reduction in the availability of suitable nest hollows, den sites, and prey density as a result of intensive logging; wildfire; poisoning; human disturbance; and predation by foxes

Say “G’dday” to the powerful owl. This owl makes its home in southeastern Australia, from the forests of the Great Dividing Range through to the coast. Powerful owls like open forests — especially wet and hilly sclerophyll forest with dense gullies adjacent to more open forest — and they hunt from perches, mainly preying on slow-moving arboreal mammals and large birds that are caught at their roosts. They’ll occasionally take insects and prey on the ground, too. Powerful owls often roost with the remains of prey clutched in their talons. Although there is some evidence of a global population decline, scientists estimate there are about 500 pairs in Victoria, 1,000 to 1,500 pairs in northeast New South Wales, and 125 pairs on public lands in southeast New South Wales.

Photo © Richard Jackson