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Tawny Frogmouth


Tawny Frogmouth


Podargus strigoides


The Tawny Frogrnouth is a nocturnal bird, by day it can occasionally be seen in typical camouflage pose, sitting on an exposed branch close to the trunk.

His grey mottled and streaked plumage looks like old weathered wood. When it is disturbed or feels threatened it adopts a "broken branch" pose. It stretches out its body, raising its beak into the air and mimic a broken branch. The bristles above the beak looking like the jagged end of a branch. Its yellow eyes look through narrow slits and its head turns to follow movement.

At night it hunts mostly ground dwelling creatures, large insects, frogs, spiders and small mammals. It sits watchfully on branches, fence posts or low perches from which it glides silently down to take prey on the ground.

The call of the Tawny Frogmouth is quite resonant in the dark and sounds like a low, pulsing "oom-oom-oom" which can be difficult to locate.

Its flimsy nest is built on a horizontal fork, constructed of sticks placed across the fork and lined with leaves. Nesting takes place from August to December and two to five eggs are laid. The male incubates the eggs by day and the female at night. The eggs hatch after about 30 days and the chicks leave the nest after about four weeks.

Typical habitat for the 'Tawny' includes forests, rainforest margins, woodlands, parks and open eucalypt forests. It can be found all over the country where the habitat suits it.

There are two places in Centennial Parklands to look for them. They have nested in Lachlan Swamp and in the pines near the children's cycle track. If you should find a bird roosting during the day please take care not to disturb it.

Explore Centennial Park's Bike Trails

Bring the kids and check out the birds while you ride in one of the most cycling-friendly public spaces in Sydney!

Take a stroll in the Labyrinth

Centennial Park's Labyrinth is located near Lachlan Swamp, the nesting area favoured by the Tawny Frogmouth.

Learn more about birding

Visit the Birding NSW website to learn more about field outings, membership and photography competitions.