Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth

I can’t resist posting this image, although Frogmouths are native to Australia. Inge took this picture of a captive bird exhibited at a Williamsburg Bird Club meeting.

If you think birds are universally beautiful, consider this face. I’d say it’s full of character!

Two centuries ago, a taxonomist named it Podargus strigoides, which in my rendering from Latin means ‘the owl who stands watchful.’ But it turns out to be more closely related to nightjars than owls. Not uncommon, and sometimes found in parks and gardens, it often goes unnoticed in daytime, resting perfectly still and camouflaged on a branch. But as darkness falls it becomes active, catching flying insects on the wing in a mouth as broad as a frog’s.

[Friday posts suspended while the author is abroad]

Black-and-White Warbler

Black and white warbler

A perky little warbler of mixed woodlands that migrates through Tidewater Virginia. A few remain here to breed. It creeps along branches and up and down tree trunks looking for insects in the same manner as nuthatches and creepers. A friend of trees, it eats gypsy moth caterpillars and bark beetles.

[Friday posts suspended while the author is abroad]

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Ferruginous pygmy owl

You may have to travel a long way to see this species. Inge saw it in south Texas, at the northern limit of its range.

A tiny owl with a longish tail, it is no bigger than an Eastern Bluebird. A daytime hunter, its wingbeats aren’t muffled as it darts from a perch like a flycatcher to catch insects, small reptiles or even birds.

[Friday posts suspended while the author is abroad]