Wednesday, 31 August 2016

First frogmouths now on eggs

A few pairs of Tawny Frogmouths are now incubating their first eggs of the year. The earliest eggs in Canberra were probably laid over last weekend, about the 27th August. This is a little early, the earliest I have seen birds on eggs has been the 12th August several years ago. Most will probably lay in early-mid September which is not much different from the usual dates. Some birds began building their nests over a month ago, possibly in response to the high rainfall in the area during the past few months over winter. However, after a warm spell, there has been some colder weather and this might have halted any early developments. This bird is unusually easy to see as his tail breaks the outline of the branches. Their tails usually lie along the nest branch. (It is the male that incubates during the day, while both sexes take turns at night).

When seen along the nest branch, a predator's view, the bird is less noticeable. Its grey plumage blends well with the colour of the tree's branches.

This nest is quite large and substantially raised up above the branch. This causes the bird's tail to lie high above the branch and hence, reveal the bird's presence.

Meanwhile, the females roost by day, relying on their camouflage for concealment from potential predators. Spots and flecks blend with spots and flecks.

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