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Penny Olsen
   Photo

Penny Olsen

   Biography

I finished my BSc hons on Antechinus at ANU in 1969 and found work as an Experimental Officer with Division of Wildlife & Ecology, CSIRO (then known as Division of Wildlife Research, now known as Sustainable Ecosystems), where I studied the ecology of water rats and the effect of predation on feral mouse populations. In 1981 I took a few years off to raise my two kids, but carried on research on birds of prey. A mid-life crisis sent me back to uni to do a PhD on the breeding ecology of raptors, which I completed in 1991. Since then I've been fortunate to win an ARC post-doc to study sex allocation in peregrine falcons, which led me to research on lifetime reproduction, for which I was granted an ARC Fellowship. Since 1999 I have been a consultant to various government departments and a visiting Fellow at ANU. I also write books and work as Editor of the Birds Australia quarterly magazine, Wingspan.

Australian National University
School of Botany and Zoology  Building 116, Dailey Road
Canberra ACT 200,    Australia
Phone: 61-2-6125 2536 Fax: 61-2-6125 5573
Email: penny.olsen@anu.edu.au


   Research Interests

Although much of my research career has focused on Peregrine Falcons, I am interested in almost anything concerned with birds of prey, both diurnal and nocturnal, or indeed with birds in general. Conservation biology is also a strong interest, which I indulge by my involvement in a long-term program to re-establish a population of owls on Norfolk Island, from the one individual female Norfolk Island Boobook that remained in 1986.

Species of Interest: 
  • Wedge-tailed Eagle
  • Brown Goshawk
  • Grey Goshawk
  • Red Goshawk
  • White-bellied Sea-eagle
  • Australian Kestrel
  • Grey Falcon
  • Brown Falcon
  • Peregrine Falcon


   Publications

Aumann, T., N.J. Mooney, and P.D. Olsen 1989. The legal status of birds of prey in Australia. Pp. 591-596 in B.-U. Meyburg and R.D. Chancellor (eds.), Raptors in the modern world: proceedings of the III World Conference on Birds of Prey and Owls, Eilat, Israel, 22-27 March, 1987. World Working Group on BIrds of Prey, Berlin.

Baker, G.B., P. Olsen, R. McCulloch, and E.B. Dettmann. 1997. Preliminary results of a long-term study of the Nankeen Kestrel: population density and turnover. Birds Australia Monograph 3:108-113.

Bartos, R., P. Olsen, and J. Olsen. 1989. Bartos trap: a new raptor trap. Journal of Raptor Research 23:117-120.

Boulet, M., P.D. Olsen, A. Cockburn, and K. Newgrain. 2001. Parental investment in male and female offspring by the Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus. Emu 101:95-103.

Burton, A., and P. Olsen 1996. (Abstract) Resource partitioning by two sympatric accipiters in Australia's wet tropics. Program of the 114th Stated Meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union and 1996 Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation. Raptor Research Foundation, Boise, ID.

Burton, A.M., and P. Olsen. 1997. A note on inter- and intraspecific differences in the diets of sympatric Brown Goshawks and Grey Goshawks during the non-breeding season. Australian Bird Watcher 17:138-141.

Burton, A.M., and P. Olsen 1997. A note on the hunting behaviour of two sympatric goshawks in the Australian wet tropics. Australian Bird Watcher 17:126-129.

Burton, A.M., and P. Olsen. 1997. Niche partitioning by two sympatric goshawks in the Australian wet tropics: breeding season diet. Wildlife Research 24:45-52.

Debus, S., and P. Olsen. 2001. Grey Falcons and other 'grey' raptors. Wingspan 11:12-17.

Mallinson, D., P. Olsen, and J. Olsen. 1990. A note on the breeding of the Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides and other raptors in the Mt. Mugga area, ACT. Corella 14:88-91.

McDonald, P.G., P.D. Olsen, and D.J. Baker-Gabb. 2003. Territory fidelity, reproductive success and prey choice in the Brown Falcon, Falco berigora: a flexible bet-hedger? Australian Journal of Zoology 51:399-414.

McDonald, P.G. P. Olsen, and A. Cockburn. 2004. Weather dictates reproductive success and survival in the Australian Brown Falcon Falco berigora. Journal of Animal Ecology 73:683-692.

McDonald, P.G., P.D. Olsen, and A. Cockburn. 2005. Selection on body size in a raptor with pronounced reversed sexual size dimorphism: are larger females better? Behavioral Ecology 16:48-56.

McDonald, P.G., P.D. Olsen, and A. Cockburn. 2005. Sex allocation and nestling survival in a dimorphic raptor: does size matter? Behavioral Ecology 16:922-930.

Newton, I., and P. Olsen (eds.). 1990. Birds of prey. Facts on File Publications, New York.

Norman, J., P. Olsen, and L. Christidis. 1998. Molecular genetics confirms taxonomic affinities of the endangered Norfolk Island Boobok Ninox novaseelandiae undulata. Biological Conservation 86:33-36.

Olsen, J., T. Billett, and P. Olsen. 1982. A method for reducing illegal removal of eggs from raptor nests. Emu 82:225.

Olsen, J., and P. Olsen. 1980. Alleviating the impact of human disturbance on the breeding Peregrine Falcon II. Public and recreational lands. Corella 4:54-57.

Olsen, J., and P. Olsen. 1980. Information derived from captive raptors: a selected review. Corella 4:25-29.

Olsen, J., and P. Olsen. 1980. Observation of defence of the nest against humans by Australian species of Falco. Emu 80:163-165.

Olsen, J., and P. Olsen 1980. Some considerations for future raptor rehabilitation. Raptor Research 14:10-12.

Olsen, J., and P. Olsen. 1981. Natural breeding of Accipiter fasciatus in captivity. Raptor Research 15:53-57.

Olsen, J., and P. Olsen. 1985. Captive breeding of Australian raptors. PP. 431-432 in I. Newton and R.D. Chancellor (eds.), Conservation studies on raptors: proceedings of the ICBP World Conference on Birds of Prey. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, England.

Olsen, J., P. Olsen, and J. Jolly. 1979. Observation on interspecific conflict in the Peregrine Falco peregrinus and other Australian falcons. Australian Bird Watcher 8:51-57.

Olsen, P.D. 1982. Ecogeographical and temporal variation in the eggs and nests of the Peregrine, Falco peregrinus (Aves, Falconidae) in Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 9:277-291.

Olsen, P. 1985. Population studies of the Peregrine in Australia. Pp. 381-388 in I. Newton, and R.D. Chancellor (eds.), Conservation studies on raptors: proceedings of the ICBP World Conference on Birds of Prey. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, UK.

Olsen, P. 1998. Australian birds of prey. University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, and John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Olsen, P. (ed.). 1993. Australian raptor studies. Australasian Raptor Association, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, Melbourne.

Olsen, P. 1998. Australia's pest animals: new solutions to old problems. Kangaroo Press, Sydney.

Olsen, P. 1999. Twenty-one species accounts on the Australasian strigids. In J.H. Haffer, J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 4. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Olsen, P. 2001. Feather and brush: three centuries of Australian bird art. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Olsen, P. 2005. Wedge-tailed Eagle. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Olsen, P., and T. Allen. 1997. The trials of quarry nesting Peregrine Falcons. Australian Bird Watcher 17:87-90.

Olsen, P., and G.B. Baker. 2001. Daytime incubation temperatures in nests of the Nankeen Kestrel. Emu 10:255-258.

Olsen, P., S. Barry, G.B. Baker, N. Mooney, G. Cam, and A. Cam. 1998. Assortative mating in falcons: do big females pair with big males. Journal of Avian Biology 29:197-200.

Olsen, P.D., and A. Cockburn. 1991. Female-biased sex allocation in Peregrine Falcons and other raptors. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 28:417-423.

Olsen, P.D., and A. Cockburn. 1993. Do large females lay small eggs? Sexual size dimorphism and the allometry of egg and clutch volume. Oikos 66:447-453.

Olsen, O., F. Crome, and J. Olsen. 1993. Birds of prey & ground birds of Australia. The National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. Angus & Robertson, Sydney, Australia.

Olsen, P.D., R.B. Cunningham, and C.F. Donnelly. 1994. Avian egg morphometrics: allometric models of egg volume, clutch volume, and shape. Australian Journal of Zoology 42:307-321.

Olsen, P., and S. Debus. 2002. Red Goshawks and other 'red' raptors. Wingspan 12:12-19.

Olsen, P.D., S.J.S. Debus, G.V. Czechura, and N.J. Mooney. 1990. Comparative breeding ecology of the Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae and Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus. Australian Bird Watcher 13:178-191.       pdf

Olsen, P., V. Doyle, and M. Boulet. 1998. Variation in male provisioning in relation to brood size in Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus. Emu 98:297-304.

Olsen, P., B. Emison, N. Mooney, and N. Brothers. 1992. DDT and dieldrin: effects on resident Peregrine Falcon populations in south-eastern Australia. Ecotoxicology 1:89-100.

Olsen, P., P. Fuller, and T.G. Marples. 1993. Pesticide-related eggshell thinning in Australian raptors. Emu 93:1-11.

Olsen, P.D., and T.G. Marples. 1992. Alteration of the clutch size of raptors in response to a change in prey availability: evidence from control of a broad-scale rabbit infestation. Wildlife Research 19:129-135.

Olsen, P.D., R.C. Marshall, and A. Gaal. 1999. Relationships within the genus Falco: a comparison of the electrophoretic patterns of feather proteins. Emu 89:193-203.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1978. Alleviating the impact of human disturbance on the breeding Peregrine Falcon. 1. Ornithologists. Corella 2:1-7.

Olsen, P., and T.G. Marples. 1993. Geographic variation in egg size, clutch size and date of laying of Australian raptors (Falconiformes and Strigiformes). Emu 93:167-179.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1979. Eggshell thinning in the Peregrine, Falco peregrinus (Aves: Falconidae), in Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 6:217-226.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1980. Observations on development, nesting chronology, and clutch and brood size in the Australian Kestrel, Falco cenchroides (Aves: Falconidae). Australian Wildlife Research 7:247-255.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1981. DDT: Peregrines in peril? Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union Newsletter 49:1-3.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1985. A natural hybridization of the Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus and Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae in Australia, and a comparison of the two species. Emu 85:250-257.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1985. Preliminary report on changes in egg-shell thickness in Australian Falco species. Pp. 389-392 in I. Newton, and R.D. Chancellor (eds.), Conservation studies on raptors: proceedings of the ICBP World Conference on Birds of Prey. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, UK.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1986. Distribution, status, movements and breeding of the Grey Falcon Falco hypoleucos. Emu 86:47-51.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1987. Egg weight loss during incubation in captive Australian Kestrels Falco cenchroides and Brown Goshawks Accipiter fasciatus. Emu 87:196-199.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1987. Movements and measurements of the Australian Kestrel Falco cenchroides. Emu 87:35-41.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1987. The kestrel: Australia's smallest falcon. Australian Natural History 22:284-288.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1987. Estimating the age of nestling raptors. Australian Bird Watcher 12:130-131.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1987. Sexual size dimorphism in raptors: intrasexual competition in the larger sex for a scarce breeding resource, the smaller sex. Emu 87:59-62.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1988. Population trends, distribution, and status of the Peregrine Falcon in Australia. Pp. 258-274 in T.J. Cade, J.H. Enderson, C.G. Thelander, and C.M. White (eds.), Peregrine Falcon populations: their management and recovery. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, ID.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1988. Breeding of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. 1. Weather, nest spacing and territory occupancy. Emu 88:195-201.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1989. Breeding of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. 2. Weather, nest quality and the timing of egg laying. Emu 89:1-5.

Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1989. Breeding of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. 3. Weather, nest quality and breeding success. Emu 89:6-14.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1989. Aussie raptors are Aussie raptors: a call for regional raptor identity. Australasian Raptor Association News 10:21.

Olsen, P., and J. Olsen. 1992. Does rain hamper hunting by breeding raptors? Emu 92:184-187.

Olsen, P.D., J. Olsen, and N.J. Mooney. 1982. Growth and development of nestling Brown Goshawks Accipiter fasciatus, with details of breeding biology. Emu 82:189-194.

Olsen, P.D., and D.B. Peakall. 1982. DDE in eggs of the Peregrine Falcon in Australia, 1949-1977. Emu 83:276-277.

Olsen, P.D., T. Ross, and J. Olsen. 1987. Vestigial wing claws in Australian birds of prey. Australian Bird Watcher 12:20-21.

Olsen, P., W.J.M. Vestjens, and J. Olsen. 1979. Observations on the diet of the Australian Kestrel, Falco cenchroides. Emu 79:133-138.

Olsen, P., and M. Weston. 2004. State of Australia's birds 2004: water, wetlands and birds. Wingspan 14(4) supplement. 24 pp.

Olsen, P., M. Weston, R. Cunningham, and A. Silcocks. 2004. State of Australia's birds 2005. Wingspan 13(4) supplement. 24 pp.

Ross, T. P. Olsen, J. Olsen, and R. Metcalf. 1989. Incubation period of the Collared Sparrowhawk. Australian Bird Watcher 13:59-61.

Shephard, J.M., J.M. Hughes, C.P. Catterall, and P.D. Olsen, 2005. Conservation status of the White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster in Australia determined using mtDNA control region sequence data. Conservation Genetics 6:413-429.

Sinclair, A.R.E., P.D. Olsen, and T.D. Redhead. 1990. Can predators regulate small mammal populations? Evidence from House Mouse outbreaks in Australia. Oikos 59:382-392.

White, C.M., Olsen, P., and L.F. Kiff. 1994. Falconidae. Pp. 216-275 in J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of birds of the world, vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.



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