Frogmouths of the Marbled kind in Tamborine Mountain’s Escarpment

A beautiful rainforest bird, the Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus), is just one of the many incredible birds to make The Forest of the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct their home.

The difference between Marbled Frogmouths & Tawny Frogmouths

Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus) in Guanaba Forest

Marbled Frogmouth

Marbled Frogmouths are very much like their Tawny counterparts (Podargus strigoides), but with some clear distinctions, including:

1. having longer tails that taper rather than flatten

2. darker yellow or orange eyes rather than yellow eyes

3. blotching underparts rather than subtle streaking

4. barred bristles appearing at the top of the beak giving them their alternative name – Plumed Frogmouths (Tawny bristles are unbarred).

But, of course, as with all Frogmouths, they freeze and become completely motionless when spotted. They do this in a bid to camouflage themselves against potential threats.

Where to find Marbled Frogmouths

Tawny Frogmouths (Podargus strigoides)

Tawny Frogmouths

Marbled Frogmouths reside in tropical and sub-tropical rainforest and montane forests.

In Australia, Marbled Frogmouths are found in North Queensland (Cape York) and from Gladstone down to the NSW border. In particular, they’re known to reside along the Canondale Ranges within Queensland’s Sunshine Coast region.

They’re also found in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Species status of Marbled Frogmouths

Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus) looking directly at the photographer

Marbled Frogmouth

Marbled Frogmouths are listed as “vulnerable” under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992, with the IUCN Red List recording a decline in species numbers.

Populations of Marbled Frogmouths are currently under threat by a range of human activities, including land clearing, timber harvesting and inappropriate fire regimes.

The species have a distinct need for un-logged, remnant forests for their continued survival; a vital reason to protect The Forest against inappropriate development.

More information

Sunshine Coast Council: Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve: Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus)

Sunshine Coast Birds: Marbled Frogmouth & Tawny Frogmouth

Birds in Backyards: Tawny Frogmouth

IUCN Red List: Search for at-risk species around the world

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