I have recorded Grass Owls consistently since first finding them on the Sunshine Coast in December 2009 and know of 7 and possibly 8 local sites for the species. While Eastern Grass Owl is nomadic in much of its Australian range, it appears to be resident in this region. Autumn appears to be a particularly good time of year for playback response, suggesting that like other Tyto species in south-east Queensland, the bird is essentially a late autumn-winter breeder.
Much of the habitat frequented by the owls is tall grassland in areas that were once farmed for sugar cane but are now disbanded. Some of the grassland is being colonised by Allocasuarina and other trees so its future is uncertain. The owls also frequent areas of tall grass interspersed with sugar plantations.
A pair of Eastern Grass Owls deserted one favoured site when the grass was cut down, but they were back as soon as the grass regrew, so they are demonstrating an ability to adapt to changing circumstances. I've not seen owls hunting over sugar cane and I've only once managed to flush an owl during the day.
see here for more. The raptors, both nocturnal and diurnal, are evidently being attracted by healthy populations of rats in the grasslands; those populations presumably have not declined to any significant extent over the 30 months that I've been keeping an eye on the owls.
Other good birds in the grassland and associated wet areas yesterday included 3 King Quail and 1 Spotless Crake.