Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)


French: Ninoxe puissante German: Riesenkauz Spanish: Nínox robusto

Athene ? strenua


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia


Has been considered to be closest to N. rufa. Monotypic.


Coastal and subcoastal SE Queensland (S from Dawson R), E New South Wales and SE Victoria to extreme SE South Australia.

Descriptive notes

48–65 cm; male 1130–1700 g, female 1050–1600 g; wingspan 110–140 cm. Largest Ninox, with proportionately small, rather rounded head and long... read more


Main call is far-carrying, repeated double hoot, “woo-hoo” or “ooo-hoo”;... read more


Open wet and dry tall sclerophyll forest, densely forested gullies near permanent water, scrub... read more

Food and feeding

Preys mainly on medium-sized arboreal mammals such as phalangers and gliders (e.g. Pseudocheirus peregrinus,... read more


Lays May–Jun, earlier in N than in S. Monogamous and territorial; home range 300–1450 ha in SE. Nest in large tree hole,... read more


Little known. Resident and largely sedentary; permanent territory occupied throughout year; young... read more

Status and conservation

Formerly classified as VULNERABLE but down listed to Least Concern in 2000. CITES II. Population estimate of 3000–4250 individuals in core of range, with c. 1000 in... read more

Recommended citation

Olsen, P.D. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2019).