Thursday, 28 March 2013

Autumn Frogmouths

Tawny Frogmouths can be very difficult to see when roosting quietly up in the branches
We are well into autumn in Canberra now and the Tawny Frogmouths are even more tricky to find than in spring or summer. They can be anywhere in their home ranges, but this adult male and juvenile were still within a hundred metres of last year's nest. I couldn't find the adult female. I had expected the youngsters to have left their family groups by now, as this is often the time of year when resident birds establish or confirm their pair-bonds and territories. I thought I would find the birds in their favourite winter roost by now, the ones which are better exposed to morning sun and out of the cold south-west wind. This branch was in the sun, but higher up, about 15 m,  and more hidden than the winter roost.

The adult male, on the left, sits comfortably, partially fluffed up as he basks in the sun, while the young bird is a bit more secretive, taking on a partial branch-pose for camouflage. The adult bird has seen me many times before, so is probably less afraid of me.

The young bird is identified as such by her scruffy moustache and eyebrows, and her nasal bristles are not as finely developed as those of a bird in full adult plumage. She is definitely a  female as she has taken on a rusty colouring to her wing coverts. Males are more uniform grey.

No comments:

Post a Comment