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Powerful Owls are frequent visitors to the Conservation Area where they hunt along the riparian zone for Gliders, Possums and Bats. It was suggested by the photographer that the Powerful Owl may have the ability to branch hang using a bony protrusion on the wing. After sending the images to the Australian Museum this has now proved to be incorrect. 

Your great images were shown to Walter Boles, Senior Fellow in our Ornithology Section. His response was:-
” Yes, it is definitely a Powerful owl,
Ninox strenua. I have handled lots of unprepared carcasses of this beast–possibly more than anyone else in the world–and have never found anything on the wing that could be construed as a branch-hanging bony protrusion. To me, it looks like a bird that grabbed a possum and slipped, getting its wing caught in the fork. Just to check, I forwarded the pictures to two of Australia’s leading owl workers and both have the same conclusion. So, no confirmation of a bony protrusion. Just a clumsy owl.”


Melissa Murray    Interpretive Officer Australian Museum.

Images courtesy of Robert Parker. 


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2 Responses to Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)

  • Roger Hanney says:

    Amazingly, we have just seen the exact same thing happen in a park in St. Ives. We came back and searched for images of Powerful Owls and found this page. It hung from a branch by its left wing for about 2 minutes with a baby ringtail hanging from its talons and its right wing hanging by its side before it took off to find another perch. We rang a zoological friend and he’d never heard of this kind of behaviour either so we’re glad that someone else has seen this strange behaviour.

  • admin says:

    It appears that there is much to learn about these powerful raptors. The man who took my images has apparently witnessed this behaviour before.

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