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Tawny Frogmouth (young juvenile)

Podargus strigoides


I am so delighted to see Tawny Frogmouths return to my yard. I've not seen any here since my last spotting back in 2012 - and have not seen chicks since 2010. This spotting is a very young bird, and although it looks fully grown, it's fidgeting behaviour gives a good indication of its age. The facial expression on this bird was due to its first sighting of a cat. In fact, four cats... and a human. Its eyes were wide-open as if astonished to see such odd creatures, and its mouth was gaped. There was a lot of movement as its head turned from side-to-side, and up-and down, taking in all the activity beneath it. There was an adult in the tree which had assumed the characteristic 'stumping' pose, which is a type of camouflage so the bird looks like a part of the tree (see last photo). The little one was moving around way too much to be inconspicuous. It was also 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees fahrenheit) the day these photos were taken, so that would account for the birds casual posture in the second-last photo.


One of the favourite roosting trees in my yard for Tawnies is a large Chinese Elm, now in full leaf. Located in a suburban backyard in an inner-city suburb of Brisbane.

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27 Comments (1–25)

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

He was psycho too. Must have been the heat.

JoshuaGSmith 6 years ago

Driving me psycho at the moment!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thanks, Daniele.

DanielePralong 6 years ago

He looks totally frog-like on the last shot. Great series Neil!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Most Aussie backyards have something cool to offer. I feel very fortunate to have tawnies visit mine. A big fat blue tongue as well :-)

flyingfrogconcepts 6 years ago

You are so lucky to have such an interesting bird in your backyard. Congratulations on a fine series of shots!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

The chicks are usually the easiest to spot; they wriggle around quite a bit. Mum and dad can be a bit more difficult. Also knowing where the roost helps, and there's probably a dozen or so spots in my neighbourhood that I know they frequent. That's why I was happy with this spotting. 2 years of no-shows, and I haven't a clue where they were. Not in their usual hiding spots, that's for sure.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Most often when you think there's none around you're standing right next to some.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

I'm pretty sure they'd be around, Martin. I have an excellent eye and good ear for frogmouths, but that's taken years of practice. Usually if I can't find them, no one can.

MartinL 6 years ago

Nice shots Neil.
They are apparently common here too.
I never see them

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thanks very much. I've 'liked' your FB page. Hope you get a good following :-)

danuuribe 6 years ago

What a beautiful shot! Thanks for sharing! Will be sharing with the recently-launched WILD Cities network on facebook today :)

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thanks guys. Ashley, that pose is called "stumping", but it's what I call "doing the stick thing!" In most situations it works pretty well, but one year I had one doing it in the middle of my lawn. The dogs were interested, so I walked straight up to it and picked it up. I don't think they're too bright.

AshleyT 6 years ago

I love that pose they do in the last photo, really is amazing! Great series as usual, Neil :)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Glad they're back. :)

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thank you, Fyn. Fingers crossed.

Fyn Kynd
Fyn Kynd 6 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thanks, Joshua, It's not to hard with the young ones, as they're quite animated. The adults just go rigid and do the 'stick thing'!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 6 years ago

Nice behavior shots, Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Cheers, Ernst. Who doesn't love a frogmouth?

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thanks everyone. His eyes really bulged when he saw the cats. It was quite funny.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 6 years ago

Wonderful series and notes.

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 6 years ago

Wow!!Great series Neil!!.

Maria dB
Maria dB 6 years ago

Wonderful spotting and great series. That bird does look astonished!

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Fingers crossed for happy nesting Tawny Frogmouths.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on Nov 16, 2014
Submitted on Nov 20, 2014

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