Nicole Foss and a Powerful Owl in the one evening!!

Just two quick bits of news.

First, Nicole Foss was on ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas earlier today.  I missed it but downloaded the mp3 of her talk – and it seems to be pretty close to the presentation she gave on her Australian tour with David Holmgren in July.  I gave my impressions of their Brisbane talks here.  It’s long (54 minutes) but the mp3 file downloads quickly, even on satellite broadband, and it’s definitely worth hearing, so set yourself up with a comfortable chair and a mug/glass of your favourite beverage and get ready to be informed by one of the best speakers I’ve heard.

The other news is that as I was coming in from the office tonight, just before 10.00pm, there was a male Powerful Owl calling from somewhere up behind the workshop.  You can find good recordings of their calls here.  This is the first Powerful Owl I have heard here in about four or five years.  In fact they were regulars during the drought, and seemed to move away once we started getting good rain.  The first sign we had of their presence was early in the drought, when we kept finding the tails of Sugar Gliders on the ground in the bush.  Sugar Gliders seem to be a favourite food of this species and they discard the tail because it isn’t much but bone and fur.  We’ve only seen a Powerful Owl here once, when it was sitting calling on a horizontal branch about 15 metres from where the house is now.  What a sight!!  The first thing that hits you is the size of the bird; these guys are really tall.  Then you see the feet, which look rather similar in their size and proportions to a man’s hand.  Let’s hope this one stays around.  I’ll be listening for it, and for a female call to signify that it has found a mate.

The resident Southern Boobooks (Mopokes) in a stand of Budgeroos just down in the gully kept calling while the Powerful Owl was calling – I’d have expected they might have been a bit intimidated by the sheer volume of the Powerful Owl’s call.

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