“Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:2 KJV)
Dan and I just returned from a three-day birdwatching adventure. With almost 1,000 photos and videos to sort, name, and clean-up, I’ll have plenty to post.
The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is becoming a favorite of mine, because they are so hard to find. The Lord has given them such camouflage and an ability to freeze when threatened, they are a challenge. We were fortunate this time while visiting the Wings of Asia aviary at Zoo Miami. By following the feeder, that enjoys the birds as much as just working there, he helped us find the new Tawny Frogmouth. They now have two of them. This new one is more active and alert. Could it be that the feeder had a cup with 4 mice in it?
We actually saw Tawny with his eyes open and I even got a short video of him opening that mouth that gives them their name.
I have written about this bird before, Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I, seeing this one, forces me to write again. They belong to the Podargidae – Frogmouths Family which has 16 species of Frogmouths.
“Masters of Camouflage Related to Oilbirds, Whip-poor-wills, and Nighthawks, the Tawny Frogmouth’s excellent camouflage covering makes it look like dried leaves. When frightened, the bird freezes in plosition and, with its cryptic colorations, looks like broken bramches.” (Amazing Bird Facts and Trivia, p 135) Isn’t the Lord’s Wisdom fantastic?
Another book, (National Geographic, Bird Coloration, p 150-151). says this: “Some birds hide not by being hard to discern, but by appearing not to be birds. The birds that best mimic inanimate objects are found in two groups of distantly related nightjars, the potoos in the Neotropics and the frogmouths in tropical Asia and Australia. Species in both of these groups hunt flying insects at night and rest during the day. Potoos and frogmouths use a strategy to hide during the day that differs … They hide conspicuously in view. The strategy…is to look exactly like an extension of a branch on which the bird sit.”
“Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)
“They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to capture insects. Their flight is weak. Their longer bristles which may exist to protect the eyes from insect prey. Tawny frogmouths are large, big-headed birds that can measure from 13 to 21 in (34 to 53 cm) long….stocky and compact with rounded wings and short legs. They have wide, heavy olive-grey to blackish bills that are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts of bristles. Their eyes are large, yellow, and frontally placed, a trait shared by owls” (Wikipedia)
This video is of two segments. The keeper tried to get him to come down and then we came back a second time. Several photographers were waiting to get a photo of him coming down, but I guess this calls for another excuse to visit the Wings of Asia.
Podargidae – Frogmouths Family
Wings of Asia Aviary