Tawny Frogmouth...

LESLEY BUtler

Coffs Harbour, Australia

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Artist's Description

Arn’t they just gorgeous, my kids found them in our back yard up in our gum tree…

Cannon DSLR 1100, Zoom Lens 55 – 250 mm
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia 2012…

Despite their owl-like appearance, Tawny Frogmouths are not closely related to owls.
They get their name from their colour and the fact that Tawny Frogmouths are found throughout Australia in woodland and open forests of eucalyptus and acacias. they have a wide frog like mouth. Their plumage is a mottled grey with streaks of white, black and brown, which provides excellent camouflage. They are most active at night, mainly in the few hours after dusk and just before dawn. During the day they sit very still on the horizontal, sheltered branches of trees. The male and female pair for life, roosting near each other during the day. Breeding occurs from August until December with one brood per season. The same nest may be used from year to year, which is a flimsy platform of criss-crossed twigs built in the fork of a tree. Usually two pure white eggs are laid. Incubation, brooding and feeding young are the shared responsibility of both parents. Incubation takes 28-32 days and the young leave the nest to fend for themselves after another 25-35 days.

The males and females look very similar although the female may be slightly smaller.
Their diet mainly consists of large nocturnal insects and spiders. Mice, lizards and other animals are also eaten as long as they are small enough to be swallowed whole.

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