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Tawny Frogmouth

A tawny frogmouth looking directly at the camera at Whitehouse Farm








Up to 15 years


1 to 3 eggs


Australia and Tasmania


Heath, forest and woodlands, urban and rural areas


Insectivorous - Insects, spiders, frogs, and sometimes small mammals

Conservation Status:

Least Concern

Tawny Frogmouths Podargus strigoides are big-headed stocky birds often mistaken for owls due to their nocturnal habits and similar colouring, but it is actually its own distinct species!

The eyes of Tawny Frogmouths are to the side of the face while the eyes of owls are fully forward on the face, owls have full or partial face discs and large asymmetrical ears while Tawny Frogmouths do not. Prey is caught both on the ground and in the air with their large beak as they have fairly weak feet.

During the day, the Tawny Frogmouth perches on a tree branch, often low down and makes a soft, deep and continuous low oom oom oom sound and can make a loud hissing noise when threatened. At a hint of danger, Tawny Frogmouths compact their feathers, stand very still and close their eyes to mimic a broken branch.


Did you know?


The biggest threat to Tawny Frogmouth is road accidents. This is due to insects being attracted to car lights and in turn the Tawny Frogmouth is attracted to the insects. Unfortunately in pursuit of a meal it is common for these birds to glide down and crash into a car.