Monday, 5 October 2015

Happy Birthday Frogmouths

On 4 October the male Tawny Frogmouth - on nest duty as usual - seemed very restless.  He was constantly preening and shifting about.  This is typical behaviour on hatching day.  Eventually I spotted a lump of white under him, which seemed to confirm that there was a chick in the nest.

He got into some very strange positions .
 In this case I wondered if he was simply aware of the actions of  ...
 .. the forces of avian evil.
Probably not, they were minding their own nest higher up in the tree.
It was a rather warm day and this - or the tension of someone wriggling about under him - caused the Frogmouth to open its beak quite a bit.  It looked very like panting to lose heat.  (At least you now know that the inside of a Frogmouth's beak is white!)

This is 2 days shorter incubation (25 days since the male assumed the position) than I have previously recorded.  It is also a good bit shorter than the average period cited in HANZAB.  Interestingly the nest building period was 3 days longer than usual, so if they had laid an egg but not started brooding for a couple of days everything would be back to average.  However, even though my weather records show the period 3 - 4 September as relatively warm it would be very unusual for the birds to leave the eggs unattended for 2 days.

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