February 6th – I like the night life

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

We don’t have a big garden, but what we have is full of life.

I went outside to put things away later this evening, and caught an odd silhouette in the corner of my eye.

“How did we get the peg-bag to sit on top of the washing line like that?” I thought to myself. Then it dawned upon me – I was being sized up by the local urban nightlife.

As raised before, the Tawny Frogmouth has all the makings of an owl, and while closely related they are different. One significant difference is the feet – an owl will strike with powerful talons, whereas the Tawny Frogmouth’s main (and only?) weapon is it’s powerful beak.

One cool fact is the Tawny Frogmouth’s ability to go into Torpor. While that sounds like a murky part of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, it’s actually the ability to slow the metabolism in a hibernating-like way.

This is required during the winter months, when food sources are scarce. A Tawny Frogmouth can go in to Torpor for a little as a couple of hours, but can reduce body heat by up to 10*C.

I’ll save my next Tawny Frogmouth fact for my next photographic encounter!

Speaking of which, I haven’t seen our recently discovered Blue Tongue Lizard of a while…

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