Fun Frogmouth Bird Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Jan 12, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Frogmouth bird facts help us to learn more about this bird which has a mouth similar to frogs.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

Podargus strigoides or tawny frogmouths is a bird species found in Australia and Tasmania. These tawny frogmouths live in deserts and mountains and heir feathers protect them from both the heat and the cold.

During summer, tawny frogmouths produce mucus in their mouth and as they breathe, the mucus helps it to become cool and keep their whole body cool. During the winter, they go into hibernation for a short period.

If you like this, you should also check out our fact files on the red kite and swallow-tailed kite.

Frogmouth Bird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a frogmouth bird?

Podargus strigoides or tawny frogmouths are birds that are often mistaken for owls as they look similar, but they are not just similar in looks. They are also nocturnal predators like owls, belonging to family of nighthawks and whippoorwill birds. During the day, they camouflage themselves and are sleep. Tawny frogmouths build their nest on tree branches and they have brownish-yellow plumage and streaks on their feathers. Their color makes sure that they hide well in their surroundings.

The tawny frogmouth has a large head shaped like a frog and a horny, triangular-shaped hooked beak. Their beak is designed to capture small animals. Their diet includes insects, worms, and slugs.

What class of animal does a frogmouth bird belong to?

Tawny frogmouths belong to the class of Aves and prey during the night.

How many frogmouth birds are there in the world?

Frogmouth birds are common and are abundantly found all around the world. Unfortunately, they are often killed or injured during feeding and are also preyed on by cats, dogs, foxes, and other wild animals. Their exact number is unknown.

Where does a frogmouth bird live?

Tawny frogmouth birds makes their nests on the branches of trees in forests and woodlands in Australia and Tasmania. These species of nocturnal predators are found widely in Australian zoos.

What is a frogmouth bird's habitat?

Frogmouths are Australian night bird species. Mostly nest on tree branches in forests and woodlands and are sometimes mistaken as owls. They build their nest with sticks and pad them with their own feathers to make the nest cozy and safe for the eggs and their chicks. Sometimes they camouflage their nests with lichen, moss, and spider webs. As they are weak birds, they need some kind of protection. The tawny frogmouth has weakly built nests even though they put a lot of effort into building their nests. This is the reason why their babies fall out of the nests.

Who do frogmouth birds live with?

Tawny frogmouths are monogamous birds who live in pairs. The male and the female take care and protect the chicks.

How long does a frogmouth bird live?

Tawny frogmouths are Australian night hawks that have an average lifespan of 10 years. They have fewer chances of survival when they are in the wild as they are really weak and have slow-moving flying skills. This normally results in their deaths and they sometimes die as road kill. A tawny frogmouth can survive better when it is kept in captivity under the care of experts. They might live longer in captivity than in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season of the tawny frogmouth is from August to December. After female tawny frogmouths have laid one to three eggs, male frogmouths take care of both the mother and the chicks. The frogmouth pair incubate the eggs for about a month. After the frogmouth chick hatches out of the egg, the male birds bring them food like insects to their nest on the tree branch. The chicks stay in the nest until they can fly and the babies learn to fly within 25-35 days.

What is their conservation status?

The status of the tawny frogmouth is Least Concern as they are widely found in Australia. However, they might be confused with owls. Even though they have some features that are similar to the owls, the tawny frogmouth is not related to owls.

Frogmouth Bird Fun Facts

What do frogmouth birds look like?

Tawny frogmouths have wide, frog-like mouths which help them to capture prey, like insects, worms, slugs, and small mammals. They have a large, horny, triangular, and hooked bill or beak. Their legs are short with small and weak feet. They are one of the weakest fliers and their movements are slow and deliberate. They have a grayish-brown or brownish-yellow plumage with dark streaks on their feathers, making their appearance camouflage against their habitat. Their wings are round and medium in size.

Frogmouth Bird

How cute are they?

The tawny frogmouth is a cute Australian bird with brownish-yellow plumage and hooked bill. Their beaks help them when catching their prey and they live in pairs.

How do they communicate?

When they are startled and communicate with each other, a tawny frogmouth call is a with a low grunting noise that sounds like 'oom-oom-oom'. The frogmouth sound is like a soft warning buzz that sounds similar to the noise bees make. They might even grieve when they lose one of their members.

How big is a frogmouth bird?

The tawny frogmouth owl is 9-21 in (22.9-53.4 cm) and they have a wingspan of 25.6-38.6 in (65-98 cm). They are small, medium-sized, and weak.

How fast can a frogmouth bird fly?

The tawny frogmouth has fragile wings and is not able to fly fast. They are some of the weakest fliers and their movements are pretty slow.

How much does a frogmouth bird weigh?

Tawny frogmouths have a weight of around 6.3-24 oz (180-680 g). They are lightweight bird species.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The tawny frogmouth is only known by either a male frogmouth or a female frogmouth. They don't have any specified names.. The pair lives together throughout their lives as they are monogamous birds.

What would you call a baby frogmouth bird?

A baby tawny frogmouth is called a frogmouth chick or a juvenile frogmouth. The parents take care and feed the babies together when they are small. They stay in the nests until they learn to fly.

What do they eat?

The tawny frogmouth is a bird that preys during the night. Their diet includes insects, small mammals, worms, slugs, reptiles, and other small animals. They catch their prey with their strong hooked beak. Males bring food to the nests when the females incubate the eggs, though they both take turns in incubating the eggs. When the babies hatch, they are fed by both of their parents until they leave their nest.

Are they dangerous?

No, these birds are not dangerous to humans, but they are predators with a strong beak that they can kill little animals or at least capture them. Insects, small mammals, and reptiles are the main part of their diet.

Would they make a good pet?

They are mostly wild birds but sometimes can be found in the zoo and have better survival chances when they are captive than in the wild. However, they are very peaceful animals and might live longer in captivity.

Did you know...

Frogmouths are nocturnal birds, just like owls. During the day, they are normally asleep and when they are disturbed, they raise their heads and make their body stiff like the branch to camouflage themselves from their predators. They are camouflaged well because of their body color which resembles their surrounding, tree branches. This behavior of stiffening their body is called 'stumping.'

What are the different types of frogmouths?

The different types of frogmouths include the tawny frogmouth, large frogmouth, Papuan frogmouth, Sri Lanka frogmouth or Ceylon frogmouth, pink frogmouth, Dulit frogmouth, Australian frogmouth, Philippine frogmouth, Sunda frogmouth, short-tailed frogmouth, marbled frogmouth, and Javan frogmouth. Frogmouth birds are found all around the world.

Where does the name frogmouth come from?

One of the frogmouth facts is that the name 'frogmouth' comes from the fact that their mouth is shaped like a frog. This species are small animals and they have weak flying skills. They move very slow. These birds are predators, but they are often killed or injured on roads while catching their prey. They are found in abundance, but they are declining due to their weak and slow nature.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable frogmouth bird coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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