The Tawny Frogmouth is often referred to as an owl because of their large owl-like eyes and nocturnal habits, plus they also eat insects and have soft feathers. They are not owls, but they are closely related to nightjars. Unlike owls, the Tawny Frogmouth almost exclusively eats insects and they lack the long talons and powerful feet of the owl.
We rarely see these birds, Bundy and Maxi patrol the yard regularly and scare away any bird that dares to perch on our fence. Being nocturnal creatures, when we do see them it is for a brief period at night and they’re so quiet we don’t even notice them. Today I got lucky, as I was leaving the house I noticed an unusual stumpy branch on a nearby tree which, on closer inspection, turned out to be a Tawny Frogmouth. As I moved around him with my camera he barely moved, at any hint of a threat or disturbance these birds freeze, doing all they can to make themselves look like part of the tree.
Tawny Frogmouths generally like to inhabit open forests and bushland consisting of eucalypts and acacias. We are lucky to have such an environment close to home, it has given us so much joy especially over the last couple of years when we’ve had the privilege of seeing Koalas up close as well as a variety of native birds.
Lately I’ve been seeing this little fellow wading through the mud at a nearby lake, so today I took my camera with me on our afternoon walk and was lucky enough to get a couple of photographs. Thanks to Google images I’ve been able to identify the bird as a Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops). The afternoon light and a ‘shady’ white balance setting makes the bird’s plumage appear more golden, but I think it is a good match 🙂