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The Philippine Frogmouth - a very secretive bird

IF YOU HEAR WEEPING CALLS AFTER SUNSET… It’s probably from the Philippine Frogmouth Batrachostomus septimus microrhynchus! 


Did you know that frogmouths are insectivores? 


Philippine Frogmouth Batrachostomus septimus microrhynchus


According to Marshall (1978) their wide bill aids the species to catch a variety of insects such as beetles, katydids, grasshoppers and even scorpions!


Frogmouth is named after the structure of its mouth that resembles that of a frog. 


They are indeed very secretive birds but fairly tame when encountered at night.


A recording of an adult bird calling from Luzon (Mt. Isarog, Camarines Sur, Bicol region) revealed weeping like calls. Similar observations of the “weeping” calls produced by this bird from Luzon were encountered in Sierra Madre mountains, Rizal and Mt. Tapulao, Zambales. Listen to the calls by clicking this link https://www.xeno-canto.org/461563  



Species of Frogmouth in the Philippines


Philippine Frogmouth Batrachostomus septimus microrhynchus


Only two species of frogmouth can be found in the Philippines: the Javan frogmouth B. javensis – which is found in Palawan & Borneo and the Philippine frogmouth B. septimus – with subspecies microrhynchus occurring in Luzon & Catanduanes, menagei for Negros-Panay and septimus for Mindanao including the islands of Basilan, Bohol, Leyte & Samar (Kennedy et al., 2000).




Credits:

Text, photos and recording from NMP Zoology Division

© National Museum of the Philippines (2021)

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