|A Tawny Frogmouth roost-tree in open woodland|
|A Tawny Frogmouth sits quietly in her roost|
I know most of the local birds' perches and most days they will be in one of perhaps two or three, for they have sussed that those branches offer shelter from predators and exposure to the sun. Exposure to the sun is important to them, for the morning sun warms them up. Also, these birds can go into torpor for part of the day to conserve energy. And that is not their only two strategies for enduring the winter, they also build up body fat. The female I found dead last week was carrying 88 grams of fat, approximately 16% of her weight, and her stomach was full of beetles and large moths. The contents formed 8% of her weight. She had been feeding hard catching the last of the autumn insects before the lean times ahead in the cold nights. (I acknowledge Gil Pfitzner of CSIRO for this information as he was the one who prepared her skin for the national collection and took these measurements).
|This bird is several years old - I know her by the pattern of her bib, |
and she knows me because she has seen me so often over the years