Make Like a “Tawny” Stick

October 9, 2009

tawny290.jpgThere was always some wag who would whisper “make like a stick” when we were playing with guns in the bush (and earning the Queen’s shilling) – an oblique way of saying “stay still and hope your camouflage efforts are up to scratch”. The Tawny Frogmouth does a great job looking like a stick. In fact they freeze on a branch hoping you will only think you are looking at a broken stump. They lift their chin and stretch their necks out and peer at you through a narrowly slit eye – quite a different look to when they are active at night when you might see one hanging around the back porch light waiting for an insect or two. Their large orange eyes and round, fat look is more akin that of an owl. Which, by the way, they are not.   A frogmouth is a frogmouth. Not an owl. His “make like a stick” is formidable discipline (this guy allowed me to within a metre or so without a blink), far beyond any of that displayed by my military colleagues. And of course, much he’s more cute than any of them ever were!