Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc)

SPECIES DATA
ORDER CAPRIMULGIFORMES
FAMILY PODARGIDAE
Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)



Tawny Frogmouths (Podargus strigoides)Will the real "Mopoke" please stand up?

Tawny Frogmouths are often mistaken for Southern Boobooks, but are not owls. Frogmouths are members of the nightjar family, and are more closely related to kookaburras and kingfishers than to owls.

Frogmouths are not raptorial birds.

Tawny frogmouths share the following features with owls: they are nocturnal; they eat insects; they have large eyes; they have soft feathers for silent flight; and they have bristles or "whiskers" around their bills.

Differences include: owls will eat animals and birds up to their own size and sometimes larger, while frogmouths are almost exclusively insectivorous; owl eyes face fully forward whilst frogmouths' eyes face mostly to the side; owls have large, powerful feet, while frogmouths have small, weak feet; owls have either a full or partial facial disk, while frogmouths do not; owls have large asymmetrical ears, while frogmouths do not; and owls have twelve tail feathers whilst frogmouths have ten.

The usual call of the tawny frogmouth is a low, resonating, "Oom-oom-oom-oom-oom-oom."

Many people hear boobooks calling with a, "Whu-WOOK!" call but the bird they see is the frogmouth, and assume that the frogmouth is making the noise.
Original phorograph courtesy of Ms Yvonne Sitko.



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