Sunday, 15 November 2009

VIDEO: Weird Indian Bird - What is a Frogmouth?

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A frogmouth is a tropical nocturnal bird related to the nightjar. They're active at night, when they hunt insects using their large gaping mouths to scoop them up. It was during the night that we ventured into the Thattekad forest to try and find one of the smallest and most elusive of the frogmouths - the Sri Lanka Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger), endemic to South India and Sri Lanka. The only way to find one is to follow their distinctive calls - a loud descending cackly and frog-like series of 'Klock-klock-klock-klock-klock' calls (often described as sounding like rattling pebbles) the females call in response with a low long shrill 'Krrshhhh'.

The next day, with the help of local expert Eldos (who is a legend when it comes to finding birds), we found a roosting pair. They were barely visible amongst the leaves and even though we spotted them, filmed them and photographed them, they seemed pretty confident in their ability to hide and just gave us the occasional perplexed look. I was even able to interview Eldos, while we were in the company of these roosting frogmouths - they remained unfluffed by the situation!

Frogmouth-5

8 comments:

  1. What a cute little bird, I've never heard of it before

    Greetings Pia

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  2. Another awesome vid Paul. Saw your talk yesterday - great work. Loved the Goose story! Chelsie.

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  3. I was at your talk too (at the NHM)! r u and Chris giving any other talks in London? would be nice to hear more of your fun stories. Sandra.

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  4. Thats such a cute bird. Looks like a furby. Lol.

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  5. Incredible footage, Paul. Really great stuff. I bet that little bird has a monstrous gape. The video is so crips -- looks like HD. Does youtube support HD now? What kind of camera was used?

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  6. Hi, our expedition was filmed by David Heath www.davidheathwildlife.com using his Sony XDCAM HD350L. We also used the Canon 500D SLR - and a small JVC camcorder (which ever was easiest to grab at the time). YouTube says it can handle 'HD' but this is very different to what the BBC would call 'Broadcast HD'.
    Thanks for viewing. Paul

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  7. We have Frogmouths in Australia. The Tawny Frogmouth is the bird I am familiar with.

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  8. great video. not sure why you call it endemic (or 'edemic') though as it's found in both India and Sri Lanka.

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