The tawny frogmouth is one of Australia's most intriguing and endearing birds. Written by award-winning author Gisela Kaplan, one of Australia's leading authorities on animal behaviour and native birds, this second edition of Tawny Frogmouth presents an easy-to-read account of these unique nocturnal birds, which can be found across almost the entire continent. Fully revised and updated throughout, Tawny Frogmouth combines 20 years of systematic observation with published research and information from regional surveys, and represents the most comprehensive single study ever conducted on tawny frogmouths.
We learn that tawny frogmouths are very affectionate, have close bonds with lifelong partners, scream like prowling tomcats when distressed, fight with lightning speed and defend nest sites from reptilian predators by mobbing and spraying pungent faeces at them. Uncompromising male fights are contrasted with the touching gentleness of males as fathers. We also learn how resilient and unusual tawny frogmouths are in the way they cope with heat and cold and scarcity of water, sit out danger, and use a large variety of food items.
This fascinating book has a wide appeal to bird lovers, amateur ornithologists and naturalists, as well as those with a scientific or professional interest in native birds, their communication, emotions and skills.
1 What and where they are
2 General anatomy
3 The brain and the senses
4 Daily life and adaptations
5 Feeding and territory
6 Bonding and breeding
8 Emotions, vocal behaviour and communication
Gisela Kaplan is Emeritus Professor in Animal Behaviour at the University of New England and an Honorary Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute. She is the author of over 250 research articles and 21 books and has conducted groundbreaking research into vocal learning, communication and cognition in birds and other vertebrates. She holds two PhDs and an honorary DSc for her contributions to life sciences. In addition to extensive research on birds in the wild, for the past two decades she has also raised and rehabilitated injured native birds.
"This, much-updated, second edition of a book originally published in 2007 is a detailed, but easily read, monograph covering most aspects of the biology of the Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides. [...] As a detailed monograph on the species the book is extremely valuable with many references to the scientific literature included for further detailed investigation beyond the book [...] The book is easy to read and well presented, despite including a wealth of very detailed material. This makes it good for a wide range of audiences interested in learning more about this fascinating species."
– Jonathan T. Coleman, Ibis 162(1), January 2020
"I have never seen a frogmouth, and probably never will, but I have enjoyed this remarkable book and learned much that is new to me, enhancing my interest and admiration for this bird and all birds. Professor Kaplan is to be heartily congratulated for producing an outstanding book on a truly amazing bird!! I thoroughly recommend it if you are at all interested in more than just putting a name to a bird!"
– Norman McCanch, KOS News – newsletter of the Kent Ornithological Society #516, September 2018
"I reckon that the Tawny Frogmouth is one of those birds that many birders know of but not many know a lot about them. If this is your experience, take heart and read what Gisela Kaplan writes about them from her long-term observations and research [...] I am sure you will be surprised by many aspects of Tawny Frogmouth behaviour as I was. Get your copy and enjoy reading all about them."
– Gil Porter, Warbler 7(3), September 2018