Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Tawny Frogmouth!

If you aren't from Australia you may not know what a Tawny Frogmouth is - it is actually one of the most interesting looking birds I have ever seen.  And the first time I saw it, I thought it was the strangest thing I had come upon.  I wasn't sure what it was!

Just recently we took Maddie to the Cairns Wildlife Dome, which sits above the Cairns Casino.  Very interesting place--and no--still haven't placed a bet--wait!  I did ! 2x$1.00 coins in the slot machines--didn't win - however--until I knew how to play those, apparently I had won a lot - just didn't know it, and didn't collect it!  (Stupid Jan!)

Anyway--back to the Frogmouths - at the Dome I was able to get a photo of a great looking Frogmouth:

Isn't that the most unusual bird you have ever seen? 

I first stumbled upon this critter when I lived in a town called Emerald.  I had gone out to the side of my driveway to put rubbish in my bin, and saw a feathery, brown/grey thing just sitting next to my bin.  It actually frightened me!  Now, remember, I have lived through mouse plagues and huntsman spider plagues, but had not yet been as scared as I was, or as surprised when I saw this creature!

As it turned out, the poor thing was a baby Frogmouth and had apparently fallen from its nest, or wandered too far from Mama.  I became fascinated with its docile manner!  I wasn't sure what to do to settle it--it really did appear to be confused and scared, so I went into the kitchen and found some small bread pieces, some small bits of fruit, and even some small pieces of mince meat, as I wasn't sure what this 'creature' would eat!

I went back outside to the side of the driveway, and it was still there.  Very quietly and gently I laid out my food offerings, and spoke in a quiet voice to this 'thing', which I had deduced was just a strange looking bird.  The strangest looking bird I had ever seen. 

I just did a bit of research right now, and thought you might like this tidbit:

To avoid detection during the day, tawny frogmouths sit upright, completely motionless on branches in trees, with their heads tilted up and eyes closed to slits. Their plumage is finely streaked and mottled in grey and brown, and in this posture the birds look just like broken branches.

If a frogmouth is disturbed, it may adopt a threatening pose, fluffing out its feathers, showing its wide orange eyes and opening its beak in a wide froglike gape to reveal its yellow throat, hoping to appear intimidating.

This little guy was not showing any signs of threatening pose, he was just scared and confused. So I protected him with branches, and left him alone.  I checked on him throughout the morning, and he had attempted to nibble at some of the food I left him, but as the day grew longer, he eventually moved away... I never saw him again, and wished him well on his journey--sure do hope he found his family--he looked like he needed them!

1 comment:

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