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A photo of a Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis)
Papuan Frogmouth

Papuan Frogmouth

Podargus papuensis

The Papuan frogmouth, Podargus papuensis, stands as the largest frogmouth in terms of length within its family, Podargidae. These birds typically measure around 53 cm (21 inches) in length, with a weight range of 290 to 570 grams (10 to 20 ounces), the males averaging 414 grams and the females 314 grams. They are characterized by a bulbous bill, a distinctive red eye, a cream eyebrow, a long tail, and dark wings. The male is generally larger, darker, and more marbled, while the female exhibits a more rufous hue.

Identification Tips

To distinguish the Papuan frogmouth from similar species, note its larger size, red eyes, longer tail, and darker wings compared to the tawny frogmouth. Subspecies P. p. baileyi is smaller and darker, whereas P. p. rogersi is larger and paler.


This species thrives in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, providing it with the necessary cover and hunting grounds.


The Papuan frogmouth graces the Aru Islands, New Guinea, and the Cape York Peninsula with its presence, blending seamlessly into its forested habitats.


The Papuan frogmouth is strictly nocturnal, emerging at dusk to hunt for large insects on the ground. Occasionally, it may also prey on small reptiles, amphibians, or birds.

Song & Calls

Its vocalizations include a resonant 'ooom' or a laughing hoot, most commonly heard in the twilight hours after dusk and before dawn.


The breeding season spans from August to January. During this time, one or two white eggs are laid in a simple nest made of sticks, strategically placed in the fork of a branch.

Diet and Feeding

Apart from its nocturnal insectivorous pursuits, the Papuan frogmouth has been observed to secrete a substance in its mouth that attracts flies, allowing it to catch them by simply waiting with its mouth open.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorizes the Papuan frogmouth as Least Concern, indicating a stable population without significant threats to its survival at present.

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Papuan Frogmouths on Birda


More Frogmouths

A photo of a Hodgson's Frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) , male

Hodgson's Frogmouth

Batrachostomus hodgsoni
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