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Tawny Frogmouth

Life in the air

"As the Spring winds howled and branches snapped and fell heavily to the ground the rickety Frogmouth’s nest of sticks was stuck like glue to its carefully selected fork in the branches. Hard to believe that the nest survived, but happily it did and two very wonderful young birds are the result"

Peter and Andrea Hylands

August 29, 2022

There are three species of Frogmouth, the Tawny Frogmouth (pictured here) Podargus strigoides, the Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuensis (the largest) and the Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus. The latter two species are particularly found in New Guinea.

Tawny Frogmouths, South Yarra


Owl-like at first glance, Frogmouths are not owls and are related to the Kookaburra.

Frogmouths are ground feeding birds and gather their food of insects, small lizards, spiders and frogs during the night.

Tawny Frogmouth nest
Tawny Frogmouth nest, South Yarra (inner Melbourne)

The stick nest always looks pretty unstable, but in most cases seems to survive and the parents vigilant, one flattening itself on the nest and two white eggs, while the other parent keeps guard. We think of them as good parents and the family sticks together long after the young leave the nest.

Tawny Frogmouth with young, South Yarra

Frogmouths are remarkable for their ability to camouflage themselves, they do this by crouching along a branch and adopting branchlike postures when disturbed, stretching out at just the right angle, still and silent, to be mistaken for a dead branch.


Tawny Frogmouth, South Yarra

Papuan Frogmouth

Images below are the Papuan Frogmouth from the Creative cowboy films archive.

Papuan Frogmouth

Papuan Frogmouth

Papuan Frogmouth