Monday, November 29, 2010

Tawny Frogmouth

As we flew to Australia in 1990, an Aussie on the never-ending plane trip told us not to miss the Koala Park in Melbourne.  "Your kids will love it."  He was right.  On the way out of the parking lot, Erika exclaimed, "I think you'd better stop the car--there is a cool bird perched on a pine bough over the road!"  There sat a Tawny Frogmouth, my favorite bird of our trip.  (The rest of the family's vote will appear in my next post.)

Frogmouths are in the family Podargidae  They are in the same order as nightjars. They are not closely related to owls. Frogmouths are found in southeast Asia and Australia.  The Tawny Frogmouth is a nocturnal omnivore--it eats most anything, including mice, birds, and lizards--although mainly arthropods.  Frogmouths usually drop from their perches and capture their prey on the ground. They accomplish their capture with their bills, not their talons.  Occasionally they will sit motionless, snapping up passing insects (Nightjars, Potoos, Grogmouths, Oilbird and Owlet-nightjars of the World).  Although this frogmouth is locally common to abundant, we saw no others.


  1. What an interesting looking bird! Definitely has a nightjar quality, but that mouth is quite something.

  2. My favorite bird to visit at the MN Zoo.

  3. Very interesting looking bird!