Nov 252016
 

Is it a Branch – an Owl- or a Tawny Frogmouth Bird?

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I am very happy house/pet sitting  in Australia.  Trish, my wife is happily taking pictures.  She is an avid photographer. We are in Armidale, an inland town about 6 hours from Sydney, NSW.

Our wonderful host came for me while I was sitting in her living room.  I followed her out to a cluster of trees.   She stopped in front of a tree and told me to look up. .  She asked me what I saw.  For a moment, I could only see the tree bark – and suddenly – there it was, a big Tawny Frogmouth.

Poppa Tawny Frogmouth taken by me
Poppa Tawny Frogmouth taken by me.  It looks like a branch of a tree!

“Look up further,” encouraged my friend.  “Wow,” I replied, “It’s a mother with her baby!”   What a camouflage!  I thought the first Tawny Frogmouth was a branch ofthe tree!

 

baby-tawny-frogmouth
The baby was interested in my camera
momma-and-baby-tawny-frogmouth
Mamma was watching me in order to protect her baby

Some Facts:

Tawny Frogmouths are NOT owls. They do not have owl talons on their feet. However,  like owls they are active at night.  Stiff bristle surround their beak.  These ‘whiskers’ may help them to notice flying insects.  They also eat spiders, worms, snails and frogs.  They are a family large bird measuring 34 cm to 53 cm.

Frogmouths mate for life. The mother Frogmouth lays 2-3 eggs.  The greatest threat to the Tawny Frogmouth is from cars.   They often chase insects that are attracted to car lights and then get hit.

This was another great Australian experience.  Travelling does not have to break your bank account.  House and Pet-sitting is a wonderful way to meet new people and their animals.

Paula

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