Frogmouths, masters of camouflage

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Frogmouths are easily recognised by their typically big head and huge, wide and slightly hooked bill. They are nocturnal birds that roost during the day on branches often in relatively exposed locations. This is because they are masters of camouflage.

They literally melt into the surroundings, achieved through subtle colours, streaking and mottling of the soft plumage.

FrogmouthH-camouflage [ChuenKiongChng]

The image above was photographed in Chiangmai, Thailand, by Chuen Kiong Chng. Note that the Hodgson’s Frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) blends perfectly with the dried bryophytes and lichens that make up the nest and cover the branch that the nest sits on.

Should the frogmouth senses danger it adopts a freezing posture. At the same time it closes its eyes to a mere slit. Once danger passes, it relaxes and becomes less tense.

Chuen Kiong Chng
Singapore
2nd March 2017

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