Earlier this week I was working in our mallee scrub at the back of our house. I had been using the chain saw and was cutting up some fallen branches from a storm a few weeks earlier. As I was picking up the wood I’d cut I heard a noise which made me look skywards.
High above our five acre block I saw a Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring on the wind. It was too high for the noise to have come from the eagle, but I’m pleased I looked up at that moment as it was quickly gliding away to the north. I didn’t have my camera with me; it was too far away for a photo anyway. So instead of a tiny dot in the distance I am using a photo of a Wedge-tailed Eagle I took earlier this year during the Free Flight Bird Show at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
Last Friday evening I was away from home for about an hour. Driving home I saw a nocturnal bird that I do not see all that often.
Sitting on a fence post opposite our driveway was a Barn Owl. It has been quite a few months since my last sighting around here. I fact, I haven’t even heard one for some time either. Its screeching call at night can be quite chilling – if you don’t know what it is.
Of course, being nocturnal, I do not have a photo, so go to the Birds in Backyards site for a photo, plus more information and a map showing distribution in Australia.
This species of owl is widespread throughout Australia, its preferred habitat being open farmland or open woodland. It feeds on small mammals, especially rats and mice, plus frogs, lizards, insects and small birds.
UPDATE: In 2010 I was able to get several good photos of the Barn Owl at Taronga Zoo, Sydney during the Free Flight Bird Show there.