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Podargidae – Frogmouths

Tawny Frogmouth in Australia: Photo by Jan Clewett

Welcome to our Podargidae guide! This family, commonly known as frogmouths, consists of nocturnal birds known for their unique, cryptic appearances and remarkable camouflage. Found in various regions across Asia and Australia, frogmouths prefer habitats such as forests and woodlands, where they often rest motionless during the day, blending in with their surroundings. Discover more about these intriguing birds, including their behaviors, habitats, and conservation status, with our comprehensive guide.

Overview of Podargidae

Frogmouths, known for their burly build, stand out among caprimulgiforms for their relatively stationary lifestyle. Their camouflage allows them to sit silently during the day, often returning to the same perch for days despite human presence. At night, they remain vigilant for prey, striking and overpowering it on the ground or against a tree trunk. Equipped with a large yet lightweight bill, frogmouths can consume a wide variety of prey they can swallow. The family comprises two subfamilies split by the Wallace Line, with the Asian species being lighter, more diverse, and harder to spot compared to their more familiar counterparts in Australia and New Guinea.