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Tawny Frogmouth

Podargus strigoides

Quick facts

Size: Averages 45 cm long including a long tail, 400 g.


Range and lifestyle: A well-known, nocturnal Australian bird, found throughout Australia.


Food: Large insects, spiders and frogs.

Breeding: Nests consist of a platform of sticks in a fork of a tree branch. Incubation of the 2-4 white eggs is performed by the female during the day and by the male at night.

  • Though often mistakenly called owls because of their nocturnal habits, frogmouths mostly feed on insects instead of mice and other vertebrates, as their bills and feet are weak compared with those of owls.  

  • Their beautifully mottled plumage makes it easy for them to hide against the trunk and branches of trees during the day, especially since their eyes are closed. But on closer inspection you might see a family of three or four perched next to each other along a branch. 

  • If disturbed during the day by Noisy Miners, you might see their orange-yellow eyes.

  • After dusk, these birds glide down on silent wings to capture their prey.

Text © Richard Noske 2021 CC BY-NC-SA


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