Size: Averages 60 cm long including tail, 700 g.
Range and lifestyle: Found over most of the continent, though now rare in southern Australia. These birds are active at night, when their mournful cries may be heard. If seen during the day, they typically stand very still.
Food: Frogs, insects, lizards and small snakes.
Breeding: Their nests are simple scrapes in the ground where they lay 2 eggs, which both parents take turns to incubate for 28-30 days.
Although their natural habitat is woodland, these birds are common in urban areas of Brisbane and other Queensland cities and towns.
Their mottled grey-brown plumage helps them blend in with their surroundings when resting during the day, and if you look carefully you might find several individuals close together.
If disturbed when they are nesting, these birds often lower their heads to near ground level to avoid detection. They may also make a hissing sound, and even spread their wings right out to frighten away potential nest robbers.
Text © Richard Noske 2021 CC BY-NC-SA
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