04 December, 2008

Tawny Frogmouth Family

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE LOOKING AT!?The Tawny Frogmouth of north Queensland is smaller than its southern relatives. The female may be a reddish brown on the wings and in streaks on the breast. The young birds and male are mostly grey. They are named for their wide mouths.

As members of the Podargidae their nearest relatives are the Nightjars/Nighthawks in Caprimulgidae.

There is one in the picture below.
Here she is a bit closer.
Can you see how many young are with their father in this picture?
There are four, dad and three young. Here are two of the young ones.

Frogmouths mate for life and live in their territory of 20 -80 hectares throughout the year. They will often nest in the same tree or near by in successive seasons. Both birds share the building and incubation duties. As in many species of birds the male often sits on the nest during the day but remember this is a nocturnal species so the behaviour is really an unusual one. The nest is a flimsy platform of twigs in a horizontal fork. Usually two pure white eggs are laid about three days apart.

Greatest activity occurs in the hours after dark and before dawn. Food is large nocturnal insects and other invertebrates, taken from low branches or the ground in gliding dives.
The young bird in the first picture was making a hissing noise and moving its head from side to side, looking like Grover from Sesame Street. As this was a threat and alarm behaviour we moved back before it could start snapping its bill at us.

1 comment:

James said...

A beautiful bird and well captured!