Tawny frogmouth

Tawny frogmouth.
Queensland Government

Common name: Tawny frogmouth

Scientific name: Podargus strigoides

Family: Podargidae

Conservation status: This species is listed as Least concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992).


The tawny frogmouth is a true master of disguise. It has streaked and mottled plumage, and when sitting still, it narrows its eye-lids to obscure its yellow eyes. The resulting camouflage is so good that a tawny frogmouth can sit a few metres from someone and still not be spotted, passing easily for a dead tree stump.

Habitat and distribution

Tawny frogmouths occur all over Australia, except in arid regions. They are found in a wide variety of vegetated habitats including open eucalypt forests, woodlands, rainforest margins, timbered watercourses, coastal tea-tree, alpine woodland, parks and gardens.

Life history and behaviour

Tawny frogmouths are nocturnal. They spend their day resting and well camouflaged in a tree, and become active at dusk. At night, tawny frogmouths perch in branches or other high places, swooping down on unsuspecting prey on the ground. They eat a variety of prey including insects, spiders, frogs, small mammals, and ground birds.

Their call is a soft and low repeated booming sound.

Listen to an audio clip of the tawny frogmouth.

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