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Caprimulgids

Frogmouths

Frogmouths are 12 species occurring in lowland and secondary tropical forests, collectively making up the family Podargidae. Frogmouths occur from India, through Indochina, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Australia, and many nearby Pacific Islands.

Frogmouths are rather large birds, with a body length of up to 20 in (50 cm). They have short, rounded wings and a long, pointed tail, and are relatively weak fliers. Their bill is very wide, flattened, and heavy. Unlike most caprimulgids, frogmouths do not feed aerially. Rather, these nocturnal birds pounce on their prey of invertebrates, small mammals, birds, and other small animals on the ground and in tree branches. The cup-shaped or platform nest is usually built in a forked branch of a tree or on a horizontal branch, and depending on the species, contains one to four eggs.

The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) occurs in Australia and Tasmania. The Papuan frogmouth (P. papuensis) breeds in New Guinea. The large frogmouth (Batrachostomus auritus) occurs in lowland forests of Indochina, Sumatra, and Borneo.


Additional topics

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