Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis)

Papuan Frogmouth

[order] CAPRIMULGIFORMES | [family] Podargidae | [latin] Podargus papuensis | [UK] Papuan Frogmouth | [FR] Podarge papou | [DE] Papuaschwalm | [ES] Podargo Papu | [NL] Reuzenuilnachtzwaluw


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Podargus papuensis AU New Guinea, n Australia
Podargus papuensis baileyi ne Queensland (ne Australia)
Podargus papuensis papuensis w Papuan Is., New Guinea and Aru I.
Podargus papuensis rogersi Cape York Pem. (ne Australia)

Physical charateristics

The Papuan Frogmouth has a bulbous bill, red eye, cream eyebrow, long tail and dark wings. The male of the species is slightly larger, darker and marbled in appearance. The female is more rufous in appearance.

Listen to the sound of Papuan Frogmouth

[audio: Frogmouth.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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Australasia : New Guinea, North Australia


The Papuan Frogmouth is commonly found in northeast Australia from Townsville to Cooktown. They roost singly or in small groups in either dense or sparse trees at various heights. Also, they will perch with the head skyward, well camouflaged and using stillness to resemble a branch or stump of the tree.


The Papuan will normally breed between October and January. They create a small flat structure of twigs usually in an upright fork of a tree. The birds prefer the tree to be at least 10m from the ground to avoid predators. The female will then lay one or two white eggs and incubate until birth.

Feeding habits

Feeding at night usually on insects, frogs, small rodents and lizards. Flight is from a perch, is silent and slow as they swoop on the prey and pick them up with the wide bill. Hunting is usually done from the edge of dense forest such as monsoon forest or rainforest, often from fence posts or signposts on the road. They are slow to move from the road, so are vulnerable to road traffic. Hunting is normally done early evening or before dawn while there is faint light.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Papuan Frogmouth status Least Concern


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

Papuan Frogmouth distribution range map

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