August 29, 2006 at 11:23 am 3 comments

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful 

Can you find two Tawny Frogmouths?

Tawny Frogmouth’s feathers, or plumage, is mostly silvery-gray with streaks and speckles of Tawny Frogmouth Tail featherblack. Their eyes are stiking yellow and very wide, and their bills are olive-gray to blackish in color.Tawny Frogmouths are masters of camouflage, or disguise. Tawny Frofmouths are nocturnal. This means that they are most active during the night. They usually hunt at night, and spend the daytime roosting on a dead log or in trees. Since their plumage can blend well with the tree bark, they sit on a tree branch close to the trunk and remain very still and upright. This way, they look just like part of a branch! The only thing that could give them away is their beaks and their eyes, which they usually close, or open very little.The Tawny Frogmouth is often thought to be an species of owl, but they are in fact related to nightjars. They do not have stong talons, or claws, like owls, and owls fly around at night to hunt for food, whereas Tawny Frogmouths usually sit very still on a low perch, and wait for food to come near them.Tawny Frougmouth’s feed on mice, rats, beetles, cicadas, frogs and other small prey. They catch their food with their large bills instead of their talons, another difference between frogmouths and owls, owls use their talons.

Male and female Tawny Frogmouths look alike. Their body length ranges between 30-50 cm. Usually south-eastern Tawny Frogmouths are larger than Northern ones.

Tawny Frogmouth Egg

When two Tawny Frogmouths pair together, they stay together until one of the two dies. They breed between August and December. They usually keep their nest, and when the female lays the eggs, both her and the male take turns sitting on them. The eggs usually hatch 30 days after they have been laid. The parents also take turns in gathering food for the newborns. Chicks usually only live in the nest for about 25 days before they are ready to leave the nest and start lives of their own.

                  Tawny Frogmouth & Chicks

In Australia there are three species of frogmouth. The Papuan Frogmouth, which lives in the Cape York Peninsula. The Papuan frogmouth is larger and has orange-red eyes. Another species of frogmouth is the Marbled Frogmouth, which is about the same size as the Tawny frogmouth, but instead is found only in the rainforests of far north Queensland and on Queensland-New South Wales border. Marlbed Frogmouths have orange-yellow eyes. Frogmouths got their name because of their large, flat, hooked bills and huge frog-like gape.

Watch Tawny Frogmouths on the Internet Bird Collection (IBC)!



1. Frogmouths nest in trees, usually in the fork of horizontal branches. Their nests are made of sticks, and sometimes padded with their own feathers, which they camouflage with lichen, moss, and spider webs. Both parents incubate the clutch. When hatched, the young are covered with down and remain in the nest until able to fly.
2. Often mistaken for owls, these unique birds are part of the nightjar, nighthawks, and whippoorwill family.
3. Tawny frogmouths, nocturnal insect hunters, have whisker-like feathers around their large mouth to help trap prey in their wide, frog-like mouth. Their unusual appearance serves as effective camouflage during the day while perching in trees.
4. Unlike other birds that fly at night catching insects, tawny frogmouths remain very still, waiting for prey. The insect or spider, fooled by the frogmouth’s coloring, is quickly maneuvered by the whisker-like feathers above their beak and eaten.
5. During the day, frogmouths usually sleep in a sedentary position, when disturbed they raise their head and stiffen their body, simulating a branch. This behavior is called “stumping”.
6. They can be heard emitting a soft warning buzz, similar to a bee, when startled.
7. These birds are normally monogamous, communicating with a low, grunting “oom-oom-oom” call.
DESCRIPTION: Tawny frogmouths have enormous, wide, frog-like mouths to capture insects. Their bill is large, horny, triangular, and sharply hooked. Their legs are very short and their feet small and weak. They are slow and deliberate in their movements, and are the weakest fliers in the order. They have rounded, medium length wings. Their plumage is mottled grayish-brown with darker streaks. There is little to no sexual dimorphism.
SIZE: Range in length from 22.5-52.5 cm (9-21 in)
WEIGHT: No data
DIET: Fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects
CLUTCH SIZE 1-2 eggs
LIFE SPAN: 10 years in managed conditions
RANGE: Australia and Tasmania
HABITAT: Forest and scrubland trees – with special preference for open eucalyptus woodlands
POPULATION: GLOBAL Abundant through range
COMMON NAME: tawny frogmouth

Entry filed under: Birds.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. paging file missing  |  July 31, 2008 at 8:37 am

    […] beaks and their eyes, which they usually close, or open very little.The Tawny Frogmouth is often …https://kingdomanimalia.wordpress.com/2006/08/29/tawny-frogmouth/Tawny FrogmouthThe tawny frogmouth is a nocturnal bird with mottled grey or brown plumage … though […]

  • 2. Graham & Linda Matthews  |  October 28, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Very interesting infomattion we have had a pair of frogmouths breading in our backyard for the last 18yrs & last year they produced 3 young would be interesting to know how many generations have return to bread as you say that in controled conditions they live up to 10yrs how long in the wild I wonder .
    Regards Graham & Linda

  • 3. Lucinda  |  September 9, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Just lost my female tawny, had her for 17 years.Got her as a hurt down covered baby with a bent beak meaning she could not hunt. R.I.P. Rashio

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