Category Archives: Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth eyeing me carefully

Tawny Frogmouths are irresistibly picturesque. They’re nocturnal birds, members of the nightjar family, so they’re a bit dozy by day. This one was very aware of me as I moved quietly around below it.

Click the image to open in a new tab, and zoom in to take look at its plumage. The bird’s eye is almost entirely closed in this image.

Tawny Frogmouth

Here’s a close up view of the bird’s head. It’s eye is now half open, keep a watch on me:

Tawny Frogmouth

There’s not much happening in the videos, but you can see the careful, slow movements that the bird makes, trying to preserve its disguise as a dry branch:

There’s even less happening in the next video, but it gives a nice view of the bird itself. The harsh chirring noise is the cicadas, which dominate the bush at this time of year.

Common name: Tawny Frogmouth

Scientific name: Podargus strigoides

Approximate length: 40 cm

Date spotted: 26 December 2014

Season: Summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’26.7″S 151°15’08.7″E

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Tawny Frogmouth nesting

Strolling along a path in the bush today, I spotted a strange-looking lump high in a tree. I got out my trusty Canon with its high-powered zoom and snapped a few shots. When I got home, I loaded the photos onto my PC to have a look. Lo and behold, it’s a Tawny Frogmouth on a nest.

Tawny Frogmouth nesting

This pic zooms in closer, from a slightly different angle. A branch obscures part of the bird’s face, and you can see its short, mouth-like beak on one side of the branch:

Tawny Frogmouth nesting

Common name: Tawny Frogmouth

Scientific name: Podargus strigoides

Approximate length: 34-52 cm

Date spotted: 21 September 2014

Season: Spring

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’58.4″S 151°15’07.2″E

For more shots of these intriguing birds, check out the Frogmouth category of this blog.

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

I had a real treat today: I spotted three Tawny Frogmouths, and they were in a reasonable accessible place for photography.

Tawny Frogmouths are odd, appealing birds. They’re related to nightjars, and look a bit like owls. What makes them special is their very wide beaks. When a Tawny Frogmouth opens his mouth, it looks as if his head has split in half!

Being night birds, they sleep during the day. Their camouflage is amazing. With their grey dappled, striped feathers, they look just like bits of old wood. They take advantage of this fact by arranging themselves artistically on old tree trunks. Spot the three birds in this photo:

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

Common name: Tawny Frogmouth

Scientific name: Podargus strigoides

Approximate length: 34-52 cm

Date spotted: 15 December 2013

Season: Summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: -33.778347,151.249715

Bird number 1 is the star of the show, chilling out at the front of the trio. Here are some close-ups:

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

I love the stylish tufts above the beak!

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

From another angle:

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

Bird number 2 is on the right in the back row of the trio. I think this one was the designated sentry. Half awake:

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

Photographer spotted, both eyes wide open:

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out

This is bird number 3, on the left  in the back row of the trio, all fluffed up and cute. Perhaps a juvenile:

Tawny Frogmouths chilling out