Happy Monday Everyone!
On an pest inspection in beautiful Smiths Lake today, we were lucky enough to be under the close supervision of a resident family….A FAMILY OF TAWNY FROGMOUTHS THAT IS!!!!!!
Mum and the two chicks were perching on a colorbond fence (pictured above) with proud Dad watching the proceedings from a retaining wall not far away.
“Yes, they are super cute but WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH PEST CONTROL??!!” I hear you ask!!!
Well that’s easy – Tawny Frogmouths are natural pest controllers with their diet predominantly consisting of nocturnal insects such as moths, beetles, spiders and cockroaches!! I knew there was a reason I loved these birds!! They catch their favourite creepy crawly snacks by pouncing and sometimes swooping down on them from a low lying branch, log or stump. They also eat small rodents and reptiles. Another interesting fact about Tawny Frogmouths is that even though they are often incorrectly called ‘owls’ they are actually closely related to Nightjars and Kookaburras.
When startled, Tawnys make themselves very slim and close their eyes to slits so as to resemble a branch (as Dad is demonstrating in the picture above left). Infact, they are so well camouflaged that I walked right past him twice before I spotted him! (above right; Dad showing off his beak to me!)
What a fascinating start to the working week – stay tuned for more exciting bugs and news later in the week!!