Re: Tawny Frogmouth enquiry.

To: Dr Richard Nowotny <>
Subject: Re: Tawny Frogmouth enquiry.
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 11:43:51 +1100
G'day Richard, Ollie & All

Working from my current study on Papuan & Tawny Frogmouths I think I can make some suggestions.

Tawny Frogmouths will relay in the same nest in the same season if they loose eggs or young. Sometimes they change trees but not always.

Sometimes hatched and predated egg shells appear on the ground below but sometimes there is no sign at all that they have been predated or hatched. (parents possible eat the shells) I have been watching 12 nests this year - same as last year.

IF you watch for the first hour after sunset you should learn something. Sit where you can see a silhouette of the nest and sitting bird - usually against the set sun ie W sky. If there are young the male will leave early- sometimes even before the female arrives. They usually feed nestlings 5-15 times in the first hour, and you should see this. If the eggs are there the male will usually sit until the female arrives (often an hour after sunset) and you will just see a change over.

I have only experience one set of infertile eggs and the male continued to incubate for about one to two weeks from memory then abandoned them. So that is a small sample size.

Could I encourage you to have a look in the next night or two then let us know - we should all learn something. It would certainly increase my sample size if you do.

Cheers & happy watching

Michael Tarburton


From: opgaspari 
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 4:10 PM
Subject: Tawny Frogmouth.

Hi Richard;

I rang you last week regarding a Tawny Frogmouth that has been sitting on
the nest for approximately three months.

There has been no indication of the eggs having been hatched, like broken egg-shells on the ground under the nest nor have there been any deceased
chicks on the ground.

It is about the 8th year that they have been nesting in our trees and on every other occasion it was the usual period of hatching time and then two
chicks would appear.

The nest is in a gum tree approximately 12-14 metres from ground level and
would really only be accessible with a 'cherry picker'.

Thank you.



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