Tawny frogmouth in exhibit

Tawny Frogmouth

Scientific Name
Podargus strigoides
Geographic Range
Insects, spiders, worms, slugs, snails, small mammals, reptiles, frogs, and birds
Tawny frogmouth in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Tawny frogmouths are medium-sized birds with long wings, short legs, and stout bills. They are between 8–21 inches tall, with a wingspan of up to 38 inches, and can weigh up to 1.5 pounds on average. They have large eyes and excellent hearing and are considered relatively quiet birds.

These birds form permanent, monogamous bonds and the pair holds territories. Breeding takes place between August and September. Pairs use the same breeding sites each year and have one to three eggs per clutch. Both parents incubate the eggs for 30 days and defend them from predators. Hatchlings fledge and leave the nest after about a month.

Did You Know?

  • With excellent camouflage to help them blend into their forest environments, tawny frogmouths remain motionless during the day. They sit with beaks pointed skyward to resemble a branch. Their camouflage also helps them hunt at night.
  • These birds were named for their large mouth, which they use to capture prey and intimidate predators. They also have a long, thin tongue that is forked at the end.
  • They are often mistaken for owls but are members of the nightjar family that includes nighthawks and whip-poor-wills.


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We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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