Frogmouths

There are 14 species of Frogmouths broken down by 3 Genus. Although these birds are nocturnal and do resemble owls, they are more closely related to nightjars, swifts, and hummingbirds.

They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects. Their flight is weak.

Tawny Frogmouth, Podargus strigoides - Note the snack

Distribution / Range

They are found from India across southern Asia to Australia.

The three Podargus species are large frogmouths restricted to Australia and New Guinea, and have massive flat broad bills.

In April 2007, a new species of frogmouth was described from the Solomon Islands and placed in a newly established genus, Rigidipenna.

Description / Feeding

They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects. Their flight is weak.

They rest horizontally on branches during the day, camouflaged by their cryptic plumage.

They are known to take larger prey such as small vertebrates (frogs, mice, etc.), which are sometimes beaten against a stone before swallowing.

The ten Batrachostomus frogmouths are found in tropical Asia. They have smaller, more rounded bills and are predominantly insectivorous.

Both Podargus and Batrachostomus have bristles around the base of the bill, and Batrachostomus has other, longer bristles which may exist to protect the eyes from insect prey.

Tawny Frogmouths rest horizontally on branches during the day, camouflaged by their cryptic plumage

Nesting / Breeding

Up to three white eggs are laid in the fork of a branch, and are incubated by the female at night and the male in the day.

Taxonomy

Recent research suggests that the two frogmouth groups may not be as closely related as previously thought, and that the Asian species may be separable as a new family, the Batrachostomidae.

Usually placed in the order Caprimulgiformes, another recent study has cast doubt on the frogmouths’ placement within that order, and they may be distinct enough to warrant an order of their own, Podargiformes, as Gregory Mathews proposed in 1918.

Genus Podargus

Genus Batrachostomus

Genus Rigidipenna

Frogmouth – Species Images

Below published are photos of the different frogmouth species. Each photo is linked the respective species page to allow you convenient access to species information and more photos.

Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis)
Tawny Frogmouth, Podargus strigoides
Javan Frogmouth (Batrachostomus javensis)
Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus)
Philippine Frogmouth
Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Batrachostomus moniliger

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