Powerful Owl


The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenva) is the largest species of owl in Australia, reaching a height of 55-65cm. It is brown on the head and wings, with a white body that has mottled dark brown v-shaped barring. The eyes are large and orange/yellow. The Powerful Owl prefers drier forest types with large old trees, but can be found in open woodlands as long as they contain mature, live hollow bearing eucalypt trees and plenty of prey species. The Powerful Owl is a nocturnal predator, feeding on possums and gliders.

The Powerful Owl is found throughout south-east and eastern Australia. In Nillumbik Shire the Powerful Owl has been recorded in numerous locations. The breeding sites in the past have been located in Smiths Gully, Eltham, North Warrandyte, Eltham South, along Plenty River in Plenty, Bend of Islands, One Tree Hill Conservation Reserve and in the upper Diamond and Arthurs Creek.

The Powerful Owl is listed as Vulnerable in Victoria and is listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. One of the major threats of the Powerful Owl is reduction of suitable large hollow eucalypts which are essential for breeding and impacts directly on the availability of nests sites. Foxes and cats are also known to predate on young chicks. Processes such as fire and habitat clearing can lead to changes in the forest structure and this can reduce the availability of food and roosting and breeding sites.