Noongar Whadjuk: kambikoora
Tawny Frogmouths roosting in the trees at the Harold Rossiter Reserve have become a favourite family for locals. There was great consternation when one of the babies was found out of its nest in October 2023. Despite the best attempts of locals, and Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, this baby did not survive.
A nocturnal insect-eating bird, the Tawny Frogmouth roosts in trees during the daylight, blending in so well that it is often totally undiscovered. The camouflage and post-like stillness help it to disappear and be very difficult to spot.
The bird is noted for its wide gape allowing it to hunt efficiently at night for insects.
According to legend told by Aboriginal Elder Janet Hayden and recorded by Len Collard, the Tawny Frogmouth was associated with people dying. “Curlews and the old owl were the two birds that Noongar people feared. The old people would say, wherever the Curlew is, someone is going to die if you hear him. The owl always played more of a part.”
Listen to the Tawny Frogmouth here.