Monday, 24 March 2014

tawny frogmouths (also known as my neighbours)



So I thought you might like to be introduced to some of my neighbours.

These guys literally live outside my door, in a palm tree that brushes up against my verandah. I believe they are Tawny Frogmouths and not the extremely rare Marbled Frogmouths (which are sometimes found around these parts). The first time I saw them, I was blown away. They were within arms reach of me, yet had no fear at all. These incredible looking birds sleep all day, totally oblivious to my whirlwind children and the noise they make. Occasionally they open their eyes for a second, but barely ruffle a feather before dozing off again. They like to rest in the exact same place every day. Sometimes you'll wonder if they've moved at all in weeks!

Then as night falls, their eyes open up. Those magnificent orangey, yellow eyes that lock on you with their piercing gaze. They puff out their feathers as they prepare to go hunting for insects, frogs or other tasty things that might be on the menu that night.

What's most amazing is they have apparently been here for years, as a pair. They're monogamous you see. Tawny Frogmouths couple off and stay with each other literally till death do they part. They both take turns to sit on the eggs, look after the nest and raise the chicks. How lovely is that?

So I always like to keep an eye out for them and make sure they're both OK. Sometimes they leave our place for a few months, but they always return to this same little nook in the palm tree that is their home.

I am so grateful they let us share it.

18 comments:

  1. Aren't they so cute we had them in a tree in our street last year however the trees ended up being chopped down because they were interfering with the storm water drains but the kids and I visited them every day for a while each afternoon when we got home from school. They are very calm birds and I agree that they just give you a look and then might shut their eyes. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. They are such lovely, peaceful birds. Hopefully yours found a nice new home!

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  2. So, so beautiful. They look very content and very happy. I am sure that they like the sound of your household and your children:)

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    1. Amazingly the children don't bother them a bit. They barely seem to notice their noise!

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  3. What a great opportunity for children to develop an appreciation of natural surroundings and learn about bird species right in their backyard. How lovely.

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    1. Yes, the kids just loved watching them!

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  4. They are gorgeous. I have only ever seen one owl in our neighborhood. I must not be looking hard enough. My mum always said that if you have owls around that it is a sign of wisdom

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    1. They're very quiet and still birds- usually more camouflaged than this, so they can be hard to spot :) If these weren't about a metre away from us, we might not have noticed them either!

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  5. These owls are to adorable! We occasionally have an owl that visits as well.

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    1. They're gorgeous birds aren't they!

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  6. Gorgeous photos. We have them here too sometimes. I often see them sitting in a 'freeze' position if they are startled. cheers Wendy

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    1. They're pretty special birds aren't they! I love the "freeze" pose too- like they're saying, there's nothing to see here folks :)

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  7. Replies
    1. We feel pretty lucky that they like it here and aren't bothered by us at all!

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  8. how wonderful! i love when birds decide to adopt my garden as their home (or maybe i'm adopting their home as my garden?). i would never tire of looking at those magnficent, regal looking owls, even if they were there daily. and i love how their featehrs have fluffed around the palm fronds.

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    1. That's how I feel as well - that it's their space really and they are happy to share it with us!

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  9. PRECIOSOS LOS PAJAROS!!!
    SALUDITOS

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  10. Chiming in a bit late on this post, but I love owls how awesome to have them so close to you.

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