Ecology | Environment | Heritage

Grey Goshawk Dines Out on Ringtail Possum

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29 November 2015

In a recent fauna survey of vine thicket near Nanango, an unexpected thing happened. A Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae) landed right in front of one of the remotely deployed cameras with something in its talons. After several images were viewed by us we suddenly realised it had a common ringtail possum in its talons.

For the next 40 mins, the goshawk plucked the possum's fur from its lifeless body before finally being startled by an inquisitive black-striped wallaby, and taking off with its catch. The camera took 573 images of the event. Later that same day, a hungry lace monitor (Varanus varius) came sniffing around. Alas he was too late to pick up an easy meal.

Grey Goshawks feed on small mammals, especially rabbits, possums and bats, as well as birds, reptiles and insects, capturing prey by striking with their long, powerful talons.

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