Tawny Frogmouth Calls
The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is Australia’s most common and widespread frogmouth species and is found throughout the mainland and in Tasmania. Despite being common, Tawny Frogmouths can be hard to spot during the day due to their excellent camouflage. Their posture, plumage and colouration helps them to blend into the background while perched on the large branches of native trees such as eucalyptus.
One of the best ways to detect if Tawny Frogmouths are in the area is to listen for their calls at night. They make a few different vocalisations, but their most commonly heard call is a low-pitched, repetitive sequence of ‘ooom-ooom-ooom’ sounds. This call is a common night sound of the Australian bush, especially in spring and summer when Tawny Frogmouths are breeding.
Tawny Frogmouth in the Blue Mountains, NSW
Listen to Tawny Frogmouth Calls
TWNP02 The audio sample below was recorded in Wyperfeld National Park in Victoria and captures a vibrant night soundscape with several species of birds including a Tawny Frogmouth. The first species to call on the track is a Southern Boobook in the background, but the Tawny Frogmouth takes the stage at 0:11 with a few sequences of the typical ooom-ooom calls. Later at 1:24 two Tawny Frogmouths can be heard interacting with some groaning calls and lower, softer rhythmic calls. A Willie Wagtail & Australian Owlet-Nightjar can be heard calling in the background as well.
T296 This next sample features a Tawny Frogmouth calling at Dunn’s Swamp in Wollemi National Park, NSW. Common Eastern Froglet (Crinia signifera) & Smooth Toadlet (Uperoleia laevigata) call in the background. As the call of the Tawny Frogmouth is very low-pitched, it can be difficult to hear on mobile devices.
T09 This third sample is a night soundscape from Dharug National Park, NSW, and features typical call sequences of a Tawny Frogmouth along with the calls of Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook). As the call of the Tawny Frogmouth is very low-pitched, it may be difficult to hear on mobile devices.
XC434366 This is a less-commonly heard vocalisation of the Tawny Frogmouth – a fast, vibrating drumming call which is very similar to one of the common calls of its larger relative, the Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis). Recorded at Artemis Station, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.
Tawny Frogmouth on nest with small chick
Other Night Sounds
Other species you might hear at night in the Australian bush:
- Powerful Owl
- Barking Owl
- Southern Boobook
- Lesser Sooty Owl
- Greater Sooty Owl
- Tawny Frogmouth
- Australian Owlet-nightjar
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