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Tawny frogmouth totally looks like...

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

One day old tawny frogmouth chick. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

The tawny frogmouths didn’t want to be left out of the zoo’s baby boom, so they hatched their first chick of the season last week. Adult frogmouths sport mottled, grayish feathers that let them camouflage themselves like a dead tree branch, but they start life as a little, white puffball, covered in downy feathers.

What do you think the tawny frogmouth chick looks most like?
At one day old, the chick weighed in at 16.5 g (0.58 ounces). Its parents are doing a good job caring for it in their nest. The chick is weighed daily to make sure its growing as expected, and we’ll offer some supplemental snacks (little bits of mice) if it needs help putting on weight.

One day old. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

The chick’s parents have another fertile egg in their nest, so we may have a second hatching on our hands soon. The family lives behind the scenes together as part of a breeding program for this species. The zoo is also home to a second breeding pair, and we coordinate the Species Survival Plan conservation breeding program for the tawny frogmouth across all accredited zoos. There are only 125 individual tawny frogmouths living in 48 zoos, so we’re proud to have a great track record of success breeding this species and expanding the population.


Anonymous said…
Fabulous news, congratulations and thank you!
Unknown said…
Does the zoo keep the frogmouths off display for a reason?
I saw it in the night exhibit when I was little. It made me very happy and eye open lol
Anonymous said…
are these the same tawny mouth owls native to Australia?
The frogmouths went off view when we closed the Night Exhibit in 2010 due to budget cuts. We decided to keep the species here since we wanted to continue our leadership role in the breeding program, but we do not have an alternative public exhibit space lined up for them at this time. Maybe someday!
Tawny frogmouths are indeed native to Australia, but they are not owls. Though they have physical similarities to owls, frogmouths are more closely related to nightjars.
What do the adults look like? Would you post a picture?
You can see a photo of an adult tawny frogmouth in the last photo of this past blog story: