Powerful Owls again
Top predator of the forests of south-eastern Australia, it is the largest species of owl in Australia and takes its prey mainly from the canopy, eating gliders, possums and roosting birds, though it will take rabbits and small animals. We have only heard one once in three years in Jagun. They have enormous territories but small heads for their size.
They mate for life, and can live for up to forty years.
For more on these owls see previous blog
Here is a poem I have just come across again circa 1998 that mentions Powerful Owls:
Lady Carringtons Drive, Royal National Park
for Maurice & Eva, Pierre & Sooty Owls everywhere
Pierre is on his twenty-fifth expedition
to catch sight of the rare bird;
top of the food chain is a dangerous place
to be as extinctions quicken, even though
Woolly Mammoth habitat still exists.
The moon’s disappointingly bright tonight,
owls prefer a swarming darkness,
the morning light will borrow from tommorrow.
Night spotting here years ago, my torch
fixed in its beam a memory, a Cockatoo’s
still life, the white spreadeagled wings
feathers in the talons of a Powerful Owl.
The spotlights skitter from tree to tree
searching for pin point reflections.
Gliders and possums illuminate
another provisional world, barely moving.
An ornithologist fiddles with a tape recorder
playing back Sooty Owl sounds,
both distinct calls,
the downward whistling that bombed
my English playground and a scream
ripped out of a woman being attacked;
all the while the whine of the working world
leaches through, impossible to keep out.
Someone puts hand to mouth and screeches
like a mad monster-mouse from Surfers.
If I was an owl I’d have turned tail,
instead, soft feathers silently bend
the air aside. We’re taken by surprise,
the scream accelerates springing from
inside the forest’s living blackness
diving towards a death close by.
A snake of light takes off into the bush,
a medieval procession such as Cortez made
crossing that magnificent country.
I stay put, the ground’s more open here,
from the track Maurice illuminates the creature
whose wisdom simply is the significance
we give to Hamlet or last year’s Grand Final.
I get a good look at a single-minded stare.
Other sights in Coffs Botanic Garden today Friday 13th
What did they do before the invention of plastic?
For my Bowerbird Collaboration, Bundanon
Introduction to a poetic experiment / collaboration with a male Satin Bowerbird in Arthur Boyd’s garden at Bundanon, see the video at bottom of this page.