Frogmouth id

To: "simon starr" <>, <>
Subject: Frogmouth id
From: "Greg" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 20:50:27 +1000
Hi Simon,

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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