This Southern Boobook was roosting in a food handling factory in the Illawarra, and his continual presence was not welcome. Having been removed once he quickly re established himself, and the predictions regarding his longer time life span should his habit continue were not great! He was caught up again and moved here for a thorough vet check ( which gave the all clear) and some thoughts on how we should handle the situation.
Consultation with both Steve Debus and Jerry Olsen, who were sent some of Mark’s images and the owl’s story gave us the following information:
“The two generations of tail feathers (old central feathers, others new) means that it’s not a first-year bird, i.e. must be at least second-year or older. This would mean an experienced bird, so I’d see no problem releasing it anytime anywhere far from the problem area (even 100 km, as Jerry said). As it’s likely that some Boobooks move during autumn-winter, it probably doesn’t matter that it’s not released near where it came from. It doesn’t look like a Tasmanian bird, i.e. it’s a mainland one, but who knows where its breeding territory might be, potentially many tens of km from where it was caught. If you want to give it a bit of help over the winter, it wouldn’t hurt to keep it another month or so”
Armed with that invaluable information he will be soft released from here when spring arrives.