In my primary school days (1930s) on Tamborine Mountain (opposite the Gold
Coast) they were also sometimes wrongly called Mopokes.
About 40 years ago my mother had three roosting under the eaves on the
verandah of her home. One larger than the other two. Mother and two
My mother could (in the daytime) stand a couple of metres in front of them
and softly imitate the call. After a few seconds one would see the breast
of the large one start to move in and out, and after a few more seconds the
sound would come, barely audible at first and gradually building up to
normal (for a Tawny) volume. And the eyes opened just a slit. Fascinating!
> From: "Paul & Irene Osborn" <>
> Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 12:01:38 +1100
> To: <>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] New Zealand Morepork Ninox novaehollandiae ?
> As a child of seven I was taken into the playground at school, by the
> teacher, to see a Tawny Frogmouth, which she called a Mopoke. The confusion
> in names arose because people didn't actually see the bird calling, so
> attributed the call of the Boobook (the most commonly heard of the night
> birds) to the Frogmouth ( the most commonly seen). The call of the Frogmouth
> is very easily overlooked by lay people, the call just doesn't register to
> them, unless it is very close.
> Paul Osborn
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