HOME       Family Pages     Computer Help     Story List     Making Pictures     All Pages

Tawny frogmouth, (Podargus strigoides) sleeping peacefully

Previous | Next | Thumbnails

Looking like just a big bunch of feathers!

Lidy took this picture too, although with my camera. The opportunity was too rare to run the risk of my messing it up!

As a child I was taught that this bird was a "morepork", but that's not right. A mopoke is a boobook owl; a tawny frogmouth is a different bird altogether. It does eat similar—although smaller—prey, but it is not a powerful hunter like most owls, preferring to sit in one place and grab whatever comes by. It's recommended that snail baits not be used if a tawny frogmouth is nearby; a poisoned snail or slug can be death to this bird. Poisoned mice are a similar hazard.

During the day the tawny frogmoth sits absolutely motionless, looking for all the world like an extension of a fence post, or perhaps the stump of a broken branch.

This fellow was not discovered when he first came to our area. His distinctive monotonous call was heard, arousing curiosity, but it was weeks before one lady spotted him in her garden—perhaps five metres from the ground, snuggled into the angle between a tree trunk and a dead branch.

Pussy cats allowed to wander at night are a very real threat to these interesting birds, as they are to many other native species. Indoors is safer and cosier for cats at night, anyway!