"simon starr" <>, <>
Tue, 11 Jul 2006 20:50:27 +1000
Your frogmouth observation is interesting. I have only ever seen a Marbled
Frogmouth once, and that was one that was rescued from the surf off Byron
Bay! I had thought that a roadkilled frogmouth from the Pacific Highway
south of Grafton (North Coast NSW) was a Marbled until the remains were
examined at the Australian Museum. It was a very reddish brown Tawny. It
had a white supercilium, white spots on the wing coverts and was very small.
David Milledge and I published a short paper in 'Corella' in 1982 'Chestnut
and brown phases of the Tawny Frogmouth on the North Coast of New South
Wales'. Female Tawny Frogmouths are usually browner or redder than males but
some birds in northern NSW are very brown. It is not known whether all of
these brown birds are females although it is likely.
The long tail is a good character in the Marbled and it is sometimes forked.
The underside is also important as it generally lacks the streaking off the
Tawny having a much more 'marbled pattern' than any Tawny.
It was interesting that a number of so called 'experts' who visited the
Marbled Frogmouth at Byron Bay declared that it was a Tawny!! It clearly
was not a Tawny and I have a selection of slides to prove it.
You will probably never know which species your frogmouth was but from your
description the Tawny Frogmouth cannot be ruled out.
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