Tawny Frogmouth

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Genus: Podargus
Species: Podargus strigoides
Common names: Tawny Frogmouth
ALA reference

Tawny FrogmouthI got a real fright when I nearly stepped on this Tawny Frogmouth. I have no idea what it was doing on the ground in the late afternoon as Tawny Frogmouths normally perch virtually motionless throughout the day and hunt at night. I can only guess that it spotted something tasty on the ground and couldn’t resist the temptation to take it. It seemed to be in perfect health and flew to a low branch after I disturbed it. Whereupon it assumed its dead branch pose while observing me with a bright eyed stare. (February 2009)

The Tawny Frogmouth is often very difficult to spot because it sits motionless and camouflages so well with the trees on which it roosts. It is not an owl but is related to nightjars and feeds exclusively at night. Their call is a low, resonating, “Oom-oom-oom-oom-oom-oom” which seems to carry surprisingly well and can often be heard just on dusk or dawn. Even though it is sometimes called a Mopoke the bird that makes the “mopoke” call is a Boobook Owl. (May 2008)