My first ever sighting of a Tawny Frogmouth & what a beauty he is.

My first ever sighting of a Tawny Frogmouth & what a beauty he is.

The initial inspection - was I friend or foe?

The initial inspection – was I friend or foe?

Celebrate with me for this evening I saw my first Tawny Frogmouth – a bird I have been seeking for a couple of decades at least.

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a master of camouflage & has an amazing ability to blend itself into its surroundings, which is why they are often hard to find.  Their feathers are silver-grey & streaked with black allowing them to look like a branch of a tree.  If they feel threatened they can stay as still as a branch as well.

Tawny Frogmouths are not owls & more closely related to the nightjars. Unlike owls, they do not have talons.  They have a short wide bill, which is probably where the “frogmouth” name originates.

They are nocturnal birds, sleeping during the day & active at night, mainly in the hours just after dusk & before dawn when they hunt for their food.  They are insect eaters enjoying spiders, slugs, beetles, cockroaches, snails & centipedes, which they catch with their beak.  Bogong Moths are a favourite. Although they are primarily insectivorous, they do on occasions eat small rodents & reptiles.

They are susceptible to pesticide poisoning as a result of people treating ‘pests’ around their home & in the environment.

Tawny Frogmouths mate for life.   Both male & female birds share everything to do with nest building, incubating & rearing their chicks.  They usually nest in the same tree year after year.  When they are breeding both males & females drum at night at the nest site.  This I would love to hear.

There are three types of Tawny Frogmouth in Australia.  Their territory ranges from 20-80 hectares. Their song is a soft continuous “oom-oom-oom-oom-oom-oom” sound.

This is the Tawny Frogmouth I saw this evening.  He was super alert when he first noticed my interest in him, but once he realized I was not a threat, he closed his eyes.  I think it is wonderful to have such a bird in the Inner West.  Their presence is a great case for less pesticide use.

I think he got interested.

I think he got interested.

He looks like a painting, except for the crystal clear eyes.

He looks like a painting, except for the crystal clear eyes.

I couldn't choose, so decided to post both photos for the wonderful expression in his eyes.

I couldn’t choose, so decided to post both photos for the wonderful expression in his eyes.

Lastly, he was kind enough to do a side-on pose.

Lastly, he was kind enough to pose side-on.  

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