Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Tawny Frogmouth
Podargus strigoides
(Viewing 4 of 14 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples The Tawny Frogmouth is one of the most common and widespread of our nocturnal birds. It occurs in forests and woodlands throughout Australia, Tasmania and most offshore islands except Kangaroo Island. Tawny Frogmouths are masters of camouflage - for most of the day they sit motionless, often as a pair or after breeding, as a family group, their cryptic plumage blending perfectly with the chosen roost site which is usually low down in a rough-barked tree or in far northern Australia, sometimes in a shady spot on the ground. If approached, they normally adopt an upright posture which sometimes resembles a broken-off branch, eyes almost closed.

Tawny Frogmouths are sedentary and live as pairs in permanent territories. Soon after dark, they become active and although their large gape would suggest they feed mainly in flight, much of their food is taken from or near the ground by sallying from a vantage point. Unfortunately, roadside posts make ideal vantage points so many birds meet an untimely end on our roads.

In common with some other frogmouths, Tawny Frogmouths occur in two colour phases, grey (which is the norm) and rufous, which is much rarer. (see pics 313207 to 210)


Photo: 313201

313201 ... Tawny Frogmouth.

Photo: 313202

313202 ... Tawny Frogmouth sitting on downy nestlings, Canberra A.C.T.

Photo: 313203

313203 ... Tawny Frogmouth of the western subspecies, P.s. brachypterus, Manmanning, W.A.

Photo: 313204

313204 ... At sunset.


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