At the moment we are very privileged to have a pair of Tawny Frogmouths living on the Island. This bark coloured bird is a master of camouflage. Their feathers are soft, like those of owls, allowing for stealthy, silent flight. They have stiff bristles around their beaks like whiskers, which help detect the movement of flying insects. Their beak is large and wide, hence the name “frogmouth”.
The native, nocturnal Tawny Frogmouth is not an owl. They sleep during the day and at dusk, shake off their disguise and begin their nocturnal hunt. They eat insects, worms, spiders, snails and slugs. They catch prey in flight and swoop down from a tree for ground-dwelling prey. This makes them very vulnerable to being pounced on by cats, so please keep your cats indoors at night.
Tawny Frogmouths mate for life and can live up to 14 years.
Photos by Bill Lynn-Robinson