Wednesday, 30 September 2015

In-between fieldwork: Powl

"Powl" is how the local birders refer to their powerful owl. I find the abbreviation oddly cute.

The powerful owl (Ninox strenua) is Australia's biggest owl species. It's big, with big claws.

Meet Powl. Look at those claws!

When it looks at you it seems to be measuring you with its gaze, and I could swear it's wondering whether it could take you on. Can I eat it? it seems to ask.

Powl sees you.

Those owls are normally found in forests, yet Powl lives in a park neighbouring a bowling club. Powl lives alone and it is currently not known whether it's a boy or a girl. I like to refer to Powl as "she" (I can blame it on owl being a feminine word in my mother tongue).  She might be a bit lonely, but she is probably not struggling for prey around this area.

Powl with dinner. Can you spot the possum?

The lovely COG birders have introduced me to Powl and I have been visiting her every few days with hope of getting some decent images I could share with you. She is snoozing peacefully most of the time I see her and I've got lots of "bum" shots. She likes to tuck her head into the feathers and can be fairly tricky to spot when sitting completely still high up in the trees, between all the foliage and branches, but as with all bird photography patience and perseverance seems to be the key to success.

She can be cute when she wants to. I bet that's how she lures the unsuspecting prey into the park.

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