Monday, February 15, 2010
I have seen a couple of posts on frogmouths recently, so I was saving mine for a "rainy day". Well, this weekend I had no time for birding, so although we are basking in blue skies and temperatures in the high 30's C (90's F), today is that rainy day. There are three frogmouth species resident in Australia, Tawny is the most widespread, and Papuan and Marbled are both restricted to the North East. I have never seen Marbled, but only had the opportunity to look for them once, in marginal habitat so I'm not too disappointed. I have seen Papuan on every trip to far north Queensland, and here are a couple of typical shots. The main field mark to look for is the massive bill. I have seen Tawny Frogmouth quite a few times. sometimes single birds, but frequently in family groups. Frogmouths are crepuscular, in that they feed mainly at dawn and dusk. This means that they roost during the day, and frequently remain faithful to favoured spots. They will usually been seen roosting close to a tree trunk, imitating a broken branch. However, sometimes you can get lucky. On one occasion, whilst out with my local bird club, we had finished our walk when someone mentioned they had seen a Tawny Frogmouth in the local Caravan (Trailer) Park. We all decided to go and see if we could find it as we had two visiting birders (one Brit, and one from the US) with us, and neither of them had seen one before. Well we looked in all the likely spots, but to no avail. Then, as we were about to leave we found them, in the park manager's garden. Low down, in full view. This photo is not the best, but the fence in the background gives a great perspective on how low they were. They were a family group of two adults (from the left, birds 1 and 3) and two juveniles (birds 2 and 4). The juveniles were extremely entertaining, sitting still with necks stretched, but then not being able to resist looking to see what was going on!! Enjoy these photos!