Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

A Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) joined the wildlife road toll a few weeks ago near the Recreation Reserve. Fortunately these strange birds, exclusive to Australasia, are not endangered. They can be found all over Australia wherever there are plenty of trees or scrub. Although they are sometimes called the ‘Frogmouth Owl’ or ‘Morepork’, they are not owls and shouldn’t be confused with the Southern Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae), also called the ‘Morepork’ or ‘Mopoke’, which can often be heard at night around Mirboo North. The Tawny Frogmouth’s usual call is more like a pulsating ‘oom-oom-oom’. They are also larger than Boobooks and build nests rather than using tree hollows. But like owls, Frogmouths are nocturnal and hunt for food. The one that met this sad fate was an adult male, probably searching for mice and other small prey around the Reserve.