Sad demise of a Tawny Frogmouth

The Tawny Frogmouth of Australia is one of my favourite birds. I first became acquainted with this lovely bird while on numerous camping trips with my young family back in the 1970s. Its gentle ooom-ooom-ooom call near our tent was strangely soothing. It is one of the iconic sounds of the Australian bush when all is quiet.

From time to time we also hear one calling near our home. When we have the television off, of course. It is a lovely sound to drift off to sleep to, and where we live there is very little traffic on the road passing our home late at night. From time to time we will catch a sight of this secretive bird during the day, perched on a branch trying for all the world to look just like the branch. Many times an individual has crashed against a glass door or window trying to grab a moth that has ventured towards the light.

It is with deep sadness that I report therefore that my wife found a dead Tawny Frogmouth drowned in our swimming pool. Somehow it had been trapped by the water – not that there is much water in it at the moment; the water almost completely disappeared during the long hot and dry summer and with water restrictions I haven’t been able to fill it again. The winter rains have not been sufficient to refill it to normal levels, even with part of the roof rainfall being directed straight into it.

It was a sad day indeed. Such a lovely bird.

I did take a few photos, but they would be a rather morbid addition to my collection of photos on our photo gallery.


12 Responses to “Sad demise of a Tawny Frogmouth”

  1. Alan says:

    Such a shame! Tawny Frogmouths have been recorded in the bushland behind my place but I’ve yet to see one here.

  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the comment Alan. That is one of the frustrations of nocturnal species – more often heard than seen.

  3. Tricia says:

    My son, aged 11 at the time, had recently moved into a new farm house with his father came in from outside where he had gone to retrieve his wet suit from the line. He said “I’m not going back out there, there’s this thing that looks like a lump of wood sitting on my wet suit” Yep, you guessed it, a tawny frogmouth!

  4. Trevor says:

    Ha Ha – that gave us a good laugh Tricia. He is so right – an amazing piece of camouflage is the Tawny Frogmouth.

  5. Tricia says:

    Hey Alan, hang a wet suit on your washing line!

  6. Merryl & Richard Easling says:

    We have 5 frogmouths that frequent our yard. I was quite upset to find one dead just recently. They are indeed a spectacular bird. We feel very privileged that we are able to enjoy them and the grandchildren also.

  7. Trevor says:

    5 Frogmouths in one garden!! I’m jealous. You are privileged indeed. Pleased that you share the delights with the coming generation. Keep up the good work – and thanks for stopping by.

  8. Mary says:

    At the moment I have 4 Tawney Frogmouths sitting in one of my palm trees. They have been there for about 2 months now. I notice they leave the Palm tree at night but are always there during the day.
    It is great to have them there and what is a FEW bird droppings
    compared to having them live in my garden.

  9. Trevor says:

    Exactly my sentiments Mary. It is always great to have our beautiful native birds living up close and personal. Enjoy your feathered neighbours.

  10. Milos says:

    Well a Tawny Frogmouth flew toward me the other night on my deck and then decided to fly inside my house sit on the rug and look at me for a minute then flew out and away… The cat was startled to say the least! We have alot of Frogmouths in the Norman Park area in Brisbane. I suspect he gave up the chase for moth and decided to visit me instead!

  11. Trevor says:

    I am not surprised that your cat was surprised – and you were a little gob smacked too by the sounds of it. Thanks for sharing this charming encounter Milos.

  12. Mary Lynch says:

    So sad to hear about the Tawny Frog-mouth drowning.

    I ended up with 5 in my Palm Tree they stayed for about 6 months then one day gone. I hoped they would come back but they have not so far.
    It was really good to have them there they cheered me up a lot.
    Have a nice day.
    Cheers Mary

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