27 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Our tawny frogmouth family nest

Latest News

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Other News

Beware of flood damage scams

NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers about opportunistic tradespeople trying to take advantage during the flood recovery process as the state gets back on its feet.

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the...

Will the Shenhua Watermark coal mine be cancelled?

News is trickling through unofficial channels about the possibility of a Berejiklian government plan to buy out the remaining licence from the Shenhua Watermark coal mine project at Breeze in the state's west.

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

Tawny frogmouths. Photo James Maitland

James Maitland

On our way home, we pass through a stand of flooded gums (Eucalyptus grandis) and tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) trees. Towards the end of September 2020, in one of these tallowwood trees, on a branch above our easement road, we noticed a small tawny frogmouth nest of loose sticks piled together. The two adults took turns sitting on the nest while the other went hunting.

Pest specialists

Tawny frogmouths are carnivorous and are considered to be among Australia’s most effective pest-control birds, as their diet consists largely of species regarded as vermin or pests in houses, farms, and gardens.

Initially, we thought there was only one chick in the nest, but then Yumi spotted another tail overhanging the nest, so we knew there were at least two. The clutch size of the tawny frogmouth is one to three eggs.

Tawny frogmouths form partnerships for life, and once established, pairs usually stay in the same territory for a decade or more.

As days and weeks passed by, we watched the chicks grow larger, until one day in late October we noticed that the nest had disintegrated and the two chicks were sitting on the branch alongside their parents.

By the end of November, the birds had flown away and we thought that was the last we’d see of them. Then, a week before Christmas, they returned to visit us near our house. What a delight to see both chicks and their parents sitting in our large Poinciana tree (Delonix regia) outside our study area.

Tawny frogmouth chicks previously rescued by WIRES.

Under threat

Tawny frogmouths face a number of threats from human activities and pets.

They are often killed or injured on rural roads during feeding, as they fly in front of cars when chasing insects illuminated in the beam of the headlights.

Large-scale land clearing of eucalypt trees and intense bushfires are serious threats to their populations, as they tend not to move to other areas if their homes are destroyed.

House cats are the most significant introduced predator of the Tawny Frogmouth, but dogs and foxes are known to also occasionally kill the birds. When tawny frogmouths pounce to catch prey on the ground, they are slow to return to flight and vulnerable to attack from these predators.

Wildlife rescue

WIRES Northern Rivers rescues wildlife including tawny frogmouths. A 24-hour hotline, 6628 1898, is for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers. Join WIRES and you can learn to be a wildlife rescuer.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.