Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Frogmouths at Dalmeny (South Coast NSW)

My brother Brendan lives amongst the Spotted Gum and Stringybark Eucalypt trees at Dalmeny, near Narooma, on the far South Coast of NSW.

Recently he found a nest of the Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigioides).

These interesting birds are nocturnal, but they are not Owls. They are insectivorous, with very large wide beaks, suitable for catching insects on the wing. They have weak feet (unlike Owls which pounce on their prey with their large claws). They are famous for their camouflage technique of blending in with the look of a short branch, in Eucalypt trees.

Several days ago, this bird arrived beside his 80 year old neighbour's window.
A rescue plan was initiated, of course.
The youngster was moved into a tree fork.
Here is it, sitting there, but looking unimpressed.
This is a cracker of a shot.
Brendan told me, in a later email that he stuck the bird up a tree were it stayed for the day and apparently till between midnight and three a.m.. It was calling periodically, but there was no evidence that it was being fed.

The next morning his neighbour went out and turned on some sprinklers - and the bird fluttered out from some low shubs. It had been at ground level and was not being looked after.

It seems that there were originally two young. The one that was photographed appears to have been the runt of the litter. He guessed that the parents moved on with the other young one.

There were then a couple of phone calls to WIRES, into a cardboard box and in to the local vet. He is expecting to get a report back on the bird either late this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

So, let us hope that the WIRES people have some success with this youngster.


mick said...

Lovely photos of the little one and I sure hope it survives. A few blocks from here a friend has had them nest and raise young for several years - - until the neighbor chopped down the trees on their block! Quite legal - but no more birds :-(

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick.
These birds absolutely need trees.
Most birds do, but these guys are fixated on particular trees - and may roost in the same one, or same group of trees, month after month.
So sad when people chop down the bird's nest tree in particular.

Mosura said...

Fantastic birds. I haven't seen one for ages. Keep us updated.

Snail said...

When they're resting, the young ones look like fluffy footballs stuck up a tree. Lovely little things. (If you're a frog or beetle, you might not think the same way!)

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mosura.
They are iconic, in their own way.
Any bird whose defence is to look like a dead stump has my vote.
No word back from WIRES yet.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
You are in danger of sounding like the Frog/Beetle Mother.
I agree, but I cannot help thinking this Fluff-ball is cute.
I know I lost some friends when I wrote about a Blue Wren (which everybody thinks is "cute") - being as "dangerous" as a Peregrine Falcon - if you are the size of an aphid!
Danger is relative.