Thursday, 31 October 2013

A close call

A Tawny Frogmouth sits on its nest, hiding from me, not the Crimson Rosella 
Tawny Frogmouths are well known to adopt a branch-pose to hide from potential predators, as they usually do when approached by a human. So it was illuminating to watch what they do when an animal predator approaches them.

Yesterday, this bird was unconcerned when a Crimson Rosella landed on its nest branch, but quickly slipped into the angled pose as I drew nearer. Then while I was looking for the female roosting a few trees away, she began to call in a low oom oom. This is most unusual as they do not normally call at all when approached. And then she started to fidget, leaving her branch-pose and shifting along her perch. Her eyes were wide open, they keep them closed when approached as part of their concealment, and I was wondering what was up, when I heard a cawing back beside the nest.

The female frogmouth in alarm
Two Australian Ravens were hopping about in the tree next to the nest, staring at the bird on the nest, which was back in a branch-pose. She had obviously seen them approach the nest well before me and was anxous as to what to do. For frogmouths are loath to fly in daylight, yet she seemed to want to help chase off the ravens from her nest.

Two Australian Ravens investigated the frogmouth on the nest
The male by then had his hackles partly raised, and his bill was slightly open. I suspect that he might have been giving a low hissing call as the ravens drew closer. I am sure they had identified him as a bird on a nest, but perhaps his partial threat display was enough to make them unsure. We can't tell, but they flew away to join the rest of the roving flock which they were part of. Hopefully not to return. 

Fortunately they flew away

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