Understanding the habitat requirements of breeding Powerful Owls (Ninox strenua) in Sydney is an important step in improving species management in urban areas. A Birdlife Australia project focusing on the population dynamics, breeding success and requirements of owls in the Greater Sydney Area is in its third year. In addition, the owls of the lower Georges River are under surveillance for a study led by Chris Lloyd, who is speaking to the Society in September this year.
For reasons that are still unknown, the breeding season in 2014 has been later than previous years, with many breeding pairs commencing nesting in July. Two breeding pairs in Oatley and surrounds are leading the charge, having laid eggs in June. In an achievement for the St George area, chicks from these owls have been heard at both sites, and seen in one. According to David Bain of Birdlife Australia, these are the first of the season.
The photograph is of the juvenile owl at one of the Oatley sites on the day after fledging.
Matt Mo, Bev Pedder and Peter Hayler 18 August 2014
REMINDER – Chris Lloyd will speak on the Changing ecology of the Georges River and Powerful Owls at next Oatley Flora and FAuna Soc. meeting on Monday 22 September.