Tawny Frogmouths

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Image Details

3231 x 2210 pixels
3277 KBs

Maegan Oberhardt

born 1997


Tawny Frogmouths


57 x 39 cms | 22 1/4 x 15 1/4 ins
Fumage & Watercolour

Tawny Frogmouths have been one of the most elusive birds for me to photograph! I see them all the time while driving at night but never have my camera on me… it’s like they know when I’m not prepared. So when I saw Robert’s photograph of these two it really stood out to me, as if the two little mischief makers had finally been caught! 

I used a bit of watercolour on their eye’s to bring out the amber hues but used the scorch through the tree branch and gumnuts. The older gumnut shells were to mark a sort of passage of time since I’ve been asked to do Frogmouths for years and years now, so they’re finally here. 

Thanks to Robert Pyne Photography for the reference image.


Although often mistaken for an owl, the Tawny Frogmouth is not an owl. Both species have mottled feather patterns and wide eyes. However, owls possess strong legs, powerful talons, and toes with a unique joint that is used to catch prey. Tawny Frogmouths prefer to catch their prey with their beaks and hence their beaks are wide and forward facing to accomplish this necessary task. 

Partly due to their mottled grey plumage, they are also extremely adept at camouflaging themselves. They will choose to perch in a broken part of a tree branch, hold their head upwards, and remain incredibly still while at rest during the day or while predators are nearby. 


Tawny Frogmouths made with Fumage and Watercolour