Slice of Life Tuesday - Wonder and Curiosity Courtesy of The Frogmouth
Yesterday, I had the absolute delight of seeing a family of Tawny Frogmouth birds in a tall gum tree near my house. Vicki, my wife had alerted me to their presence. They were sitting quite high in a tall eucalypt and had attracted a succession of curious onlookers. I tried to get a clear photograph of these intriguing birds, but they were positioned in such a way that a clear shot was not possible unless I was prepared to climb twenty metres up the tree…
This morning following my usual walk I returned armed with my camera to see if they were still there. They were conveniently sitting on a lower branch and plainly visible. I got the shot I was hoping for. A lady passing by asked me if I’d seen the owls in the tree. I had to gently inform her that were in fact Tawny Frogmouths, not owls. She appeared surprised by this revelation and continued to her grand-daughter, ‘Look sweetheart, can you see the owls?’
These amazing little birds remind me of
Easter island statues. They sit in trees dozing during
daylight hours. The flicker of an eye might be all the outward signs of life
the viewer gets to see. They frequently perch on low branches during the day,
but their mottled silver grey plumage makes them hard to see. They have natural
camouflage. They are fascinating. They
are endearing. Even their name is great.
|Three young Tawny Frogmouths snuggle together. The mother sat on a|
separate branch apparently having some 'me' time.
With their nocturnal habit, Tawny Frogmouths are often confused with owls. The Frogmouth’s feet are small and rather weak, and lack the curved talons of owls. They are actually more closely related to the Nightjars (the smallest nocturnal bird found in
At night a Frogmouth makes a sound that is soft, deep and continuous -‘oom- oom- oom,’ They also make a loud hissing noise when they feel threatened. They have a tendency to return to familiar locations during nesting time each year. i look forward to their next visit.
Every time I experience something like this, I feel so privileged. It unleashes the curious learner within. There is no cure for curiosity. Once you acquire it, you have it forever. I am so glad to be under its influence.
The question arises, ‘What did you see this week that amazed you? I will share this latest small wonder with students I meet tomorrow when visiting Tarneit College in
To be writers we must be observers. As educators, we are charged with encouraging discovery and curiosity. We can stimulate such things to develop if we, ourselves, respond with wonderment and awe in the presence of everyday experiences. Frogmouth fervor reigns supreme!