Alice Springs Desert Park

ASDP Home | Nature Theatre | Nocturnal House

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a stocky and compact bird with rounded wings and short legs. They have wide, heavy olive-grey to blackish bills that are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts of bristles. Their eyes are large, yellow, and frontally placed, a trait that is shared by owls. The Tawny Frogmouths are often mistaken for owls due to their nocturnal habits and colouring.

The tawny frogmouth provide some great examples of mimicry to be seen in Australian birds. Its cryptic plumage assist with camouflaged as it takes on and blends in with its pretense of being a broken tree branch. With their silvery-grey plumage patterned with white, black, and brown streaks and mottles they appear to become invisible during daylight.

The Tawny Frogmouth can be seen not only in the Nocturnal House, but also perched under the shade roof of the Nature Theatre during the bird show.

Images © Ausemade PL


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Podargidae
  • Genus: Podargus
  • Species: P. strigoides
  • Binomial name: Podargus strigoides