Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

Tawny Frogmouth

[order] CAPRIMULGIFORMES | [family] Podargidae | [latin] Podargus strigoides | [UK] Tawny Frogmouth | [FR] Grand Podarge | [DE] Eulenschwalm | [ES] Podargo Australiano | [NL] Uilnachtzwaluw


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Rigidipenna strigoides
Podargus strigoides AU Australia
Podargus strigoides brachypterus e Australia and Tasmania
Podargus strigoides phalaenoides n Australia
Podargus strigoides strigoides w and c Australia

Physical charateristics

The general plumage of the Tawny Frogmouth is silver-grey, slightly paler below, streaked and mottled with black and rufous. A second plumage phase also occurs, with birds being russet-red. The eye is yellow in both forms, and the wide, heavy bill is olive-grey to blackish. South-eastern birds are larger than birds from the north.

Listen to the sound of Tawny Frogmouth

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/T/Tawny Frogmouth.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 34 cm size max.: 53 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 35 days
fledging min.: 25 days fledging max.: 35 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Australasia : Australia. The Tawny Frogmouth is found throughout Australia, including Tasmania.


The Tawny Frogmouth can be seen in almost any habitat type (except the denser rainforests and treeless deserts), including heath, forest and woodlands, urban and rural areas.


The male and female pair for life, roosting near each other during the day. Breeding occurs from August until December with one brood per season. The same nest may be used from year to year, which is a flimsy platform of criss-crossed twigs built in the fork of a tree. Usually two pure white eggs are laid. Incubation, brooding and feeding young are the shared responsibility of both parents. Incubation takes 28-32 days and the young leave the nest to fend for themselves after another 25-35 days.

Feeding habits

The bulk of the Tawny Frogmouth’s diet is made up of nocturnal insects, worms, slugs and snails. Small mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds are also eaten. Most food is obtained by pouncing to the ground from a tree or other elevated perch. Some prey items, such as moths, are caught in flight, which has led to many unfortunate instances of birds being hit by cars while chasing insects illuminated in the beam of the headlights.


This species has an extremely 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.

Tawny Frogmouth status Least Concern


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

Tawny Frogmouth distribution range map

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