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Tawny Frogmouths are Australian native birds that habitat open woodlands and urban areas alike. They are often mistaken for Southern Boobooks, but are not owls at all. Frogmouths are members of the nightjar family, and are more closely related to kookaburras and kingfishers than to owls. However, like the owls, they are silent night hunters. In flight, they do not make a sound! Birds of prey are easy to identify; their eyes are always set forward.
This photo is of this years Tawny Frogmouth family (comprised of 2 adult birds and two chicks), taken in my backyard in Brisbane QLD, Oct 2010. Even though the chicks are only a couple of months old, they know a predator when they see one. Unless you know what you are looking for, these birds are not easily detected. They are very well camouflaged, even when exposed on a branch like this.
This and the other Frogmouth photos were not the easiest to take with a ‘point and shoot’ camera. The camera was hand-held, the birds were reasonably high up in the tree, the light was constantly shifting due to foliage movement, and at times I was at maximum zoom. This was pushing the limits of my camera, and it’s times like this that I miss my old SLR. I’ve tried to keep editing to a minimum, but still strived to achieve a decent end photo.
I’ve posted these photos, not for their artistic merit, but rather their educational merit. Many people have never heard of, let alone seen, a Tawny Frogmouth, so these photos may very well be their first experience. I hope you enjoy them :-)
Photo taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!
Tawny Frogmouths doing the “stick” thing. They are beautifully camouflaged amongst a tree’s foliage, and definitely look like part of a tree branch. This is their defensive rigid posture when a threat is near. In this case, it was a butcher bird.