Monday, 22 April 2013

MOPOKE, A rare view

A pair of Tawny Frogmouths enjoying the beautiful day

On a morning ride to Redland Bay, in Queensland, something that I momentarily saw pricked my brain. Immediately to mind came the vision of a Tawny Frogmouth or Mopoke as it is colloquially referred to in Australia. I immediately stopped and retraced my line of direction and to my surprise, on a dead branch, surrounded by bush and in broad daylight was not only one Tawny but a pair.

To sight these birds whilst riding a bike on a pathway, was highly unusual due to the fact that they are nocturnal in nature and have extremely good camouflage. Although they normally perch down low, it is usually closer to the trunk and therefore they are hard to see. Perhaps the main reason I like to ride on bush trails and paths is due to the interaction with wild life.

If I was to describe a Tawny to someone who hadn't seen one before, I would probably say it is the bulldog of the bird species, somewhat like an owl but different. Possibly ugly but then again like the bulldog, beautiful in a sense, They don't fear man or at least they don't take to flight like most birds when you try to approach them and hence, gave me the perfect opporunity to take their photograph.

The Tawny Frogmouth is also lazy, preferring the prey to come to them in preference to hunting on the wing like owls.

If threatened, they remain perfectly still and rely on their camouflage to protect them, so I feel extremely lucky to have spotted the two whilst riding. Perhaps this is the reason the species has lasted some 56 million years although this claim would need to be verified.

Another interesting fact is that the pair stay together until one dies.

I thank Wikipedia for the above information..

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

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