birding-aus Papuan Frogmouth Immature left nest

Subject: birding-aus Papuan Frogmouth Immature left nest
From: Stan Emmerson <>
Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 21:41:02 +1000
Hello again from Cairns in Far North Queensland,
        In my last Email dated 31 March I advised that I would let you know
the fate of the Papuan Frogmouth chick.  Last Friday evening (30 April) the
young one flew away with both parents.  I suspected this was the big night
as Mum arrived on the branch that morning to complete the family.

The large male looked after the chick the entire time from when the eggs
were laid and was at all times either sitting on the chicks or sheltering
the chick as it grew.  As it turned out, two chicks hatched out & were
growing at an astonishing rate & I wondered how two fullgrown chicks were
going to fit in the nest.  The parents must have been more worried as to how
they were going to look after two chicks in the rain. I had a rain guage in
a clearing near the nest and we had another 282 mm of rain for the month of
April (rain on 27 days), thus my wishful thinking that as they were building
a nest the weather would fine up was again shattered.

On the 9 April after a particulary wet night where 75 mm of rain fell, the
smaller of the two chicks disapeared and I assume it was served up as dinner
for the other one as there was no sign of it under the tree.

The good news is the other chick got bigger every day and gradually started
to change from snow white to half brown.  The female seemed to stay about 30
metres from the nest during the day but fed the chick at night.  The male
was always trying to shelter the chick until the chick became so huge it was
as large as its father.  Four days ago it flew to an adjacent tree 10 metres
away and preferred to sit in an exposed location rather than under cover as
the male would prefer.  So he did his best to sit as close as possible to
the chick and look like two branches (both with their heads pointing upwards).

On that last day I saw them, with the 3 in a group I could see that the
female is a very slim bird of all rufous colour on the back and lighter
coloured breast, The male is a very dark large bird and the chick I assume
is going to be a male as it is in the same proportion as the male but with
only a half length tail.

I will miss my twice daily walks to the nest but have the greatest
satisfaction in knowing that this chick survived.

Cheers, Stan 

PS. The sun has been shining the last few days and Cairns has never looked

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