Tawny Frogmouth

Podargus strigoides.

This is our resident suicidal Tawny Frogmouth. He regularly can be found on the road, or swooping at/in front of cars at night.

I stopped close to high, lights on high beam and carefully got out of the car to fire off a couple of handheld shots before he flew away.

View all photos taken: Sunday, 19th April 2009, This photo: 7:33pm


  • James Lagden said:
    Do you see these much during the day in the area David?
  • SkattyKat said:
    Great capture - he looks surprised lol
  • James Lagden said:
    Probably thought he was going to become a Tawny pancake!
  • suburbanvoodoo said:
    Great shot Dave, love the eyes :-)
  • SkattyKat said:
    lol James - you might be right !
  • [ Kane ] said:
    Nice! and I bet this is ISO 2400 or something ;)
  • David de Groot said:
    Yep, sure do, but they're next to impossible to spot in the trees as their camouflage is excellent.
    I think it was the big hairy thing edging towards him that did it ;-)
    Quite fortuitous that he turned my way really.
    3200 if you must know :P
  • accesser said:
    Ohh is that what they are I spotted on in my headlights on Easter Monday when I got home he was on one of our gates. Neat little guys
  • David de Groot said:
    Yep, that's them. During the day they hide in trees making a very good impersonation of a stick.
  • accesser said:
    I'll have to keep an eye out for them both day and night would love to get a pic, There is a very very very old tree on our place right next to where I spotted him would not surprise me if he has a home in there somewhere
  • Wes Cooper said:
    Great shot. Nice to see a picture of one at night that hasn't been blasted with on camera flash.
  • David de Groot said:
    Yeah, I was tempted to post "strobist info: two 55w constant lamps camera left at full power" but thought that might be a bit too wanky ;-)
  • -Bennie- said:
    wow good shot mate! :-)
    Don't you love the 5d II's iso ability! you must be loving it mate! :-)
    awesome photo... nice one!
  • CAUT said:
    Amazing shot.
    With 3200 ISO and low noise... wow! Fantastic camera!
  • David de Groot said:
    It's definitely VERY handy Bennie - wouldn't have got this shot on the 400D.
    Yep, pretty cool eh ?
  • aramisfirefly said:
    Insane for 3200 ISO Dave, very very nice work.
  • David de Groot said:
    And straight out of the camera too - just a crop (for composition) and export to jpg from LR.
  • looby88 said:
    ooh , great piccy for such high ISO, I love the bird.... I want one !
  • hari_kr said:
    astonishing shot ......... beautiful work .......my friend
    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • David de Groot said:
    Bit large to keep indoors :P 33-50cm long (beak to tail), and a wingspan of 65-98cm.
    Thanks :)
  • looby88 said:
    Thats some bird.. outside aviary it is then ! I guess it swoops in front of car headlights after moths, we have a nightjar, its not as splendid as this
  • Ross_M said:
    great photo op I want one too!
  • AlexandraPhotos said:
    I thought only cockatoos were suicidal in traffic. Wonderful shot
    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • David de Groot said:
    I could have sworn I saw a comment from you here earlier today... :P
    Thanks Ross, I was quite pleased he looked right at me (and I managed to get the shot without blur).
    Strangely I've not had an issue with cockatoos. Galahs on the other hand have come to a nasty end in front of my car :(
  • looby88 said:
    LOL !!! Yeah, I thought it was not especially clever or funny, or even remotely intelligent, added nothing to the conversation, added any great insight into the workings of my mind ( or perhaps it did ?!!? ) therefore in the interests of myself, yourself and humanity in general I deleted it..
    still like these birds though, still want one ! As I see does Ross, good man !
  • David de Groot said:
    hehehe see I checked in earlier today, but couldn't reply on account of being at work.
  • bradchiplin said:
    Very cool. How awesome are their eyes. Piercing yellow. Shadows on the road give it a good feel too!
    Never seen a frogmouth on the road before either!
    So there's no flash at all used with this? It's just headlight action and the 5D cranked to 3200? Incredible :)
  • chooks! said:
    Very good David :-) i once also took a shot of these owls in my front yard with the flash on and their eyes went all red.
  • David de Groot said:
    Yep no flash. The 5DII doesn't have a pop-up flash (neither do the other Canon Professional line of bodies - 1D and 1Ds), and I figured I had the high-beam on, so it should be enough illumination with the iso cranked up - and it was :)
    Yeah I've blasted one with flash before (during the day) and you're right, they do reflect back quite red.
  • Margot- said:
    I thought it was a baby owl.
    You always find the cutest animals and I'm so jealous!
  • David de Groot said:
    hehe yeah they get mistaken for owls quite a bit, but they're a different type of bird.
    The cuteness makes up for all the other deadly animals we live with over here ;-)
  • SkattyKat said:
    I found this on explore David - Congrats :-)
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks for spotting that Kat :)
  • ..i giardini di marzo said:
    oh my God!! It's wonderful!!
  • David de Groot said:
  • AustralisWilds said:
    Great shot! They are actually getting more and more threatened by swooping at head lights. They sit there because they go to lights for bugs, lots of these guys are getting hit.
  • David de Groot said:
    Yeah it's a shame about that, as they're fascinating birds.