ON THE MEND: Soot covered tawny frogmouth
ON THE MEND: Soot covered tawny frogmouth Contributed

Feathered friend gets lots of WIRES lovin'

AN ENGINEERING warehouse in South Lismore called WIRES when they found a Tawny frogmouth on the ground, unable to fly. He had been spotted regularly over time and was believed to be a resident in their workplace.

Because they are nocturnal, Tawny Frogmouths are commonly mistaken for owls but they actually belong to the nightjar family. They feed mostly on large insects and moths which they catch with their wide mouths. During the day, they perch on tree branches, well camouflaged due to their pale grey and mottled feathers.

The rescuer first noted the unusually dark colouring for this species. An assessment found him malnourished and considerably underweight. The colour wasn't natural but caused by fine layers of sooty dust, built up over time.

His carer took on the huge task of bathing and rehydrating the frogmouth. He was unable to take solid food, so also required frequent liquid feedings.

Cleared of his sooty coating, and feeling a bit stronger after a few days in care, the Tawny began to groom himself -- an excellent sign. He is now back on regular food and has a good chance of regaining a healthy weight.

Already strong enough for transfer to a large aviary, he will remain in care for quite some time until he is able to fend for himself again in the wild.

Contact WIRES for rescues, advice or enquiries. The 24-hour hotline is for all calls to WIRES in the Northern Rivers - 6628 1898.