Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tawny Frogmouth

One of the things I love about living in the bush is the chance to see the animals and birds I share it with.  Last night I was lucky enough to spot a tawny frogmouth as I arrived home.  It is also known as the mopoke as people thought this was the night bird that made the "mopoke" call that can be heard in the Australian bush, but that noise is actually made by the boobook or spotted owl.  The tawny frogmouth is found right across Australia and some even survive in our cities parks.  They fly silently, as do all night hunters, and they have the amazing ability to reshape themselves to look like part of the tree.  Sadly we lose quite a few on the road as they see prey in headlights and swoop down to grab it right in the path of the oncoming vehicle.

I'm still very much the amateur photographer, but this tawny was so close I had to have a go. 

I don't like flashing at them or lighting them up for long so these photos don't really do the bird justice so I thought I'd go and find a photo under creative commons licence so you would gain a better idea and I found this superb shot by Wardie 44B on Flickr.

The following link will take you to the photo and all of Wardie44Bs fantastic photos.  Tawny Frogmouth and Snack by Wardie44B on Flickr Wardie44B also explains how he took the shot and what equipment he used.

So if you are in an area of bush at night, especially open eucalypt woodland, keep your eyes open for a tawny frogmouth acting like a branch and looking out for a tasty morsel to catch.


  1. Lucky you, one of my favourites.We have a family too and the great joy of seeing a baby come out of the nest one year.They're amazing birds, something so old about them.Lovely post!

  2. You took some good pics. I can't believe how close you were. Wow!! I didn't know anything about these birds at all. So cool.

  3. Such fabulous photos. I can't imagine how incredible it must be to see so much wildlife.

  4. You life is so foreign from mine -- and I love it! How amazing is it to be you?!

  5. Hey thanks guys. lovely comments and much appreciated.

  6. So cool! What a magical opportunity, and an amazing bird. I love the name. Great pictures, too.

  7. The bird looks almost like an owl. You took some great pictures. Your posts are always so interesting! I love to hear about everything.

    Thanks for visiting me again.

  8. I was confused at first - thought you were writing about a frog! And your photos were just fine.

    Thanks for visiting me. You mentioned 'black and white birds who adapt quickly to human habitation and so a decrease in others'...we have three birds in our area that have done this: the sparrow, the starling, and the mockingbird. The sparrow especially has taken over as they reproduce so prolifically. Will confiscate all the bluebird houses to the point of throwing eggs or babies out, and if you provide food in your yard they will come by the dozens. The mockingbird population seems to have grown in numbers this last few years especially, as instead of one or two pairs fighting for territory, you will see many more fighting, and they, too will throw babies and eggs out of other's nests. Makes me crazy! The starlings travel in flocks of dozens, carpeting the yards looking for food.

    But I'm sure you have much more interesting birds where you are than we have here in Ringgold, Georgia!

  9. One of these guys flew into my window glass a few years ago. Sat there stunned for a long time. So I had the chance to see one up close. My god, they are HUGE! Eventually, he stood, shook himself and flew away.

  10. Cheryl, you had me at "Last night I was lucky enough to spot a tawny frogmouth ...."
    Here I go to bookmark yet another fascinating blog. Good to meet you.

  11. Great blog... some really beautiful photos. I am now following and look forward to what you post next. Feel free to follow back if you like!
    All the best,


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