Nature Stuff

Is the Tawny Frogmouth an owl?

Nope. It’s similar, and it’s related, but it’s not an owl.

Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth

A lot of people think Tawny Frogmouths are owls. But they’re not owls.

The thing about owls — or at least one thing about them — is the size of their feet. Owls’ feet are big, strong and used to grab prey, which might include mice or other small mammals. An owl can swoop over its prey and catch it with its talons.

A comparison of an owl with a Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouths use their beaks to catch prey. Owls use their powerful feet.

That’s not the case with Tawny Frogmouths, which mainly eat insects and slugs and other small invertebrates. They don’t use their feet to catch prey but instead use their beak.

So now you know. The Tawny Frogmouth isn’t an owl, but in fact is more closely related to the nightjars.

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