Monday, July 11, 2011

Powerful Owl

If you have heard at night a deep Whoo-hoo it could be the Powerful Owl,  Ninox strenua. It is the largest Australian nocturnal bird and is listed as vulnerable in NSW. Birds Australia has a public call out to help locate and monitor breeding pairs and Birds In Backyards will train volunteers. For a lot more detail please use my links and to report a sighting or join in volunteering please go here

As I am not often able to see outside of a book the birds and animals I like to depict in my art I then frequent museums to observe the preserved. A favourite is the intimate and historically important Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney - where presently they have a long-nosed bandicoot on display...  so I strongly encourage a visit! 

They estimate to have 9000 bird studyskins that were mainly collected in the late 1800s. I am currently drawing some of the birds found along the greenway, of course, and here I believe is a not so typically posed tawny frogmouth. It was common that the taxidermists and engravers of the time had also never seen these specimens alive and in real situ. 


Unknown said...

What a wonderful drawing and great to have such a museum, the birds there sit even longer as normal....

swinkie said...

very true and they are not the 9000 I mentioned which rest in the drawers as skins only. This victorian museum has many other extraordinary things and it would take a lifetime time to explore everything.