Thursday, December 22, 2011

Creature Feature: Tawny Frogmouth.


I know, I know, you guys are getting REALLY sick of me posting random animals hidden in scenery. I -promise- this will be the last one for a while. Next week is frog week. Froggies are at least colorful. I will not make you strain your eyes for a whole week.

That said, the Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) really does have amazing camouflage. In zoos, one must reaaallly squint to find these guys. Go figure; they're from Australia, which means they -must- be ninjas of camouflage. If they were not ninjas, they would not be able to live there. Believe it. 

That video above shows the frogmouth's camouflage at its finest. The bird lies perfectly straight and still, just like a piece of wood. Its eyes are closed. Its head is flat. It has the best morphing capabilities of any bird after that African owl. Woe to the unfortunate bugs who get caught in this bird's big mouth; no way they saw that coming.

Tawny frogmouths look a lot like owls, but they are just barely related. They're both nocturnal, both eat other animals, and that's pretty much the extent of it. Nightjars and oilbirds, their real closest relatives, are just as fascinating and ought to have their own entries. These birds eat mostly insects and hunt with their beaks, not their feet. They eat smaller animals if the opportunity comes along. Since they are the unholy ninjas of the bird world, we can only imagine that they also use shurikens...not that we would know.

Strangely enough, tawny frogmouths are among the few monogamous birds. Both sexes incubate the eggs and mate 'til death do they part. If one mate dies, however, they will gladly mate again. Black swans still beat them when it comes to mating for life. Should I make a "harem no jutsu" joke? No? All right, then. 

1 comment:

  1. Open eyes. Go close to the screen. Put on glasses. Still could not see him. Until I knew what he looked like. Then it was easy.