It’s a Boy
A mate and I came across a pair of Powerful Owls (Ninox strenua) near Beechworth when we were on a quest to find some Aboriginal paintings.
We are fairly sure of the ID as he is a pretty skilled “Bird Man” and we have checked it with our pictures etc.
This is the male and he was perched close to the ground until I nearly trod on him. Because they were located so close together we figure it is a nesting pair and they were near a large dead tree containing hollows.
From the info we have they were in an ideal location for them and it is close to or into nesting time. There is some differences in the rarity of these critters but it seems they are listed as “threatened and vulnerable” in two of the Victorian lists referenced in Wikipedia.
Our main reference was Michael Morcombe, Birds of Australia e Guide. He lists them as “uncommon”.
Perhaps what was pretty special was we came across them as a pair. They are very hard to find at the best of times but even harder to locate them as a pair.
It’s a Girl
This discovery was an unexpected treat given we were on another quest all together. However it does illustrate how one can expect the unexpected when prowling quietly through the bush with eyes open.
If you wish to explore these critters in more detail check out Mr Wikipedia.