Podargus ocellatus (PODARGIDAE) Marbled Frogmouth


Large bird growing to 380mm in length, in red-brown and grey forms. Some birds are relatively unmarked, others are well marked with irregular white blotches. Underbelly ranges from creamy white to grey, wings are brown with black and white patches, eyes yellow. Found on Cape York Peninsula, in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales. Distinguished from the more common and widespread Tawny Frogmouth by its longer tail, finely patterned plumage and distinctive call. Threatened in NSW.

Hunts for insects during the night and rests in the trees during the day, relying on camouflage to keep hidden. Call is a a loud bubbling, gobbling territorial call ending with a bill clap and a softer “koo-loo” contact call.

Breeding season October. Nests in a flimsy platform of twigs and pieces of vines in the fork of a tree.

Photo: Derek Boddington