<< Previous Next >>

Sri Lankan Frogmouth

Sri Lankan Frogmouth
Photo Information
Copyright: Smitha Komath (smitha) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, AF Nikkor 80-200mm / f2.8 ED
Exposure: f/4, 1/20 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 3, Frogmouths [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-06 0:00
Viewed: 5488
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Dear Friends,
This is a picture of Sri Lankan Frogmouth, Batrachostomus monilger.
Those who are familiar with my pictures know that 90 % of my pictures are taken in and around my compound. I have always wanted to go out and shoot, but somehow the opportunity never arose until the time I went and photographed this peculiar bird. I have always been fascinated by the Frogmouths.They look so peculiar. I had told Eldhose( well, I think he is the best guide you can have for South Indian Birding) my desire to take its picture. Shortly after that he took me to Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary where I had the luck to sight two pairs and a single female bird. God! I will never forget the first time I laid my eyes on it. Eldhose pointed a spot and told me “see the pair sitting over there, now you can take its photo”. But when I looked I could see nothing but a cluster of dried leaves, and twigs.Then I spotted the birds. I was so amazed at the way nature has camouflaged them. Those little guys were so confident of their ability to merge with the surroundings that they will sit there, quite still – only the iris will move, that too very slowly- even if you go very near them.. If you don’t disturb them much they will allow you to take as many pictures as you want. But once they feel threatened by your presence they will leave that place and will roost somewhere else. I even heard a story from Eldhose. It seems one of the guides showed some people a pair of Frogmouths. Unlike other birds who take off at the merest indication of human presence these birds were sitting so still that they thought the guide was fooling them by showing a pair of stuffed birds tied to a twig. So one of them threw a stone at it to test whether they are real. Well, the rest of the story you can imagine.:) If any of you ever plan to visit India for birding I suggest please don’t pass up the opportunity to see this bird. It is not a pretty face, but I can guarantee you that it will make you take a second look. Hi Hi Hi.
The picture was taken with Nikon D200/Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 ED
Shutter speed : 1/20
F-stop : f4
ISO: 200
Exposure compensation:+.7
The picture has been resized and converted to JPEG. The level correction and USM has been done using CS3.

Some information on the Sri Lankan Frogmouth :
Distinctive in both its appearance and its loud laughing song, the Sri Lankan frogmouth is a tropical bird related to the nightjars. So called because of its large, gaping mouth, the Sri Lankan frogmouth's head is as wide as its body, and has a broad, flattened, hooked bill. The female is rusty red with sparse white freckling, whereas the male is more grey and heavily spotted with white.( in the picture, the one on the left is a male and the other a female) The tail feathers are long and narrow. It is found in Westernghats and Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan frogmouth is nocturnal, hunting insects at night and resting upright on branches during the day. The flight appears weak and fluttery, but they are capable of flying quietly under the forest canopy. It builds a nest in the fork of a tree from 2 – 12 metres above the ground, lining it with moss, small leaves, twigs and under feathers. A single white egg is laid and is incubated by the female at night and the male during the day. The white chick is cared for over a period of weeks before dispersing
Like other frogmouths, this species rests upright on branches during the day, camouflaged by its cryptic plumage and appearing like a broken branch. At night, it hunts insects with its large gape. The flight appears weak and fluttery, but they are capable of flying quietly under the forest canopy.
The Sri Lanka Frogmouth is best located at night by its song, which is a loud descending cackly and frog-like series of Klock-klock-klock-klock-klock calls. It has a the quality of sound produced by rattling pebbles. This is the call of the male and it is often answered by the female whose call is low long harsh Krrshhhh.


Thanks for stopping by.

Miss_Piggy, SelenE, rkailas, uleko, sandpiper2, mariki, ellis49, goldyrs, Alex99, Ena, Islander_, smurali, Argus, jusninasirun, Evelynn, jaycee, japiey, rcrick, darwin, loot, Royaldevon, waylim, Adanac, vmukherjee, dejo, bobair, JPlumb has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Royaldevon: Thankssmitha 1 03-09 19:57
To smurali: Thank yousmitha 1 03-06 19:56
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Smitha
I remember Loot mentioning this Sri Lankan Frogmouth that you were going to post sometime. And here it is. – A delightful and most peculiar bird with strange characteristics.
A very good close approach, showing clear and sharp details of the cute little faces. I like the way the one on the right hand side is looking back at you. Just love the fine feathers that look like whiskers around the eyes. Each one’s face tells a different story, and the one on the right hand side look so much as he feels sorry for himself. Great in sharpness, lighting, depth of field and focus. I like the green leaves as background. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-03-06 0:33]

Hi Smitha,
These are among the birds that I want to see the most. I liked that pose you captured, two of them facing the opposite direction. Composition showing them in their natural environment is very nice, so are the details. Well seen and captured. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-06 1:00]

Hello Smitha,
This is a superb capture of this pair of Frogmouths looking really good together. They certainly make you smile! Excellent sharpness and nice colours that stand out against the green background. Very well composed too. - The first time I saw one was at Backwoods Camp, Western Ghats in Goa. We were also thrilled to see the Tawny Frogmouth in Australia but never managed a good shot!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi, Welcome back.

Nice Capture Of the Pair.


Lovely shot. Great to have companion all the time.
Best regards,

Hi Smitha

Well I have learnt something today, I thought that frogmouths were only found in Australasia!
I like this pair, especially the warm brown tones.
Excellent sharpness and plumage details. Well composed.
Good work


Hello Smitha,

Excellent shot of these two cute frogmouths. Superb composition. Very good POV. Very good sharpness. Very beautiful detail of the plumage. Very nice light and colours.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-06 4:49]

Wow Smitha! What a great shot of these two Frogmouths!!
They are such weird birds!
Stunning clarity and excellent detail.
I guess you were using a tripod which would explain the superb sharpness at such a shlow shutter-speed!
Great composition and POV.
Nice vibrent colours.
Exceptionally well done,

p.s I may be going to India in a couple of years so I'll look out for the Frogmouths! :-)

Hi Smita,
a fine picture of these ood looking birds.
The pose is very nice almost like a mirror effect.
Well omposed with a fine POV and good sharpness.
Well done.

Diel composition of matching twin birdies are quite beautiful. Thank you very much for the share


Very nice shot of these birds.
I love the excellent exposure and the OOF BG!Nice POV!Thank you!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-06 7:34]

Hello Smitha,
Very special photo of very special birds. And with open eyes!
Brilliant pose and POV. Sharpness in the feathers and the colours are great. Splendid light. Beautiful environment/BG.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-03-06 10:38]

Hi Smitha.
What a cute par of the birds with amazing turning of the heads. Wonderful POV and framing of the shot. I am impressed with exactness of details and superb smooth BG.
Well done and kind regards.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-03-06 15:42]

Hello Smitha,
Beautiful couple!
Nice composition!

Hi Smitha!

Just a fantastic shot with beautiful poses of both birds in one photo! Thank you,


Smitha, Looks like you have been preserving this picture all this while and suddenly decided to share it with all of us. This is the best picture of Frogmouth that we ever saw. Amazing clarity and colors. One of them, I guess the female, is even having an eye contact with you. Excellent picture and a very informative note.

- Murali Santhanam

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-03-07 6:54]

Hello Smitha,
You have a superb capture of a pair of Sri-Lankan Frogmouths! We saw a pair when we were in Goa some years back but the light was too poor to photograph them and it was before I had a digital camera.
This is great in every way, especially the sharpness, lighting, pose and POV and I am taking it into my favourites not only because it a fantastic photo but because it is a nice reminder of these fascinating birds.
Thanks for sharing this great capture,
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-03-07 8:04]

Hello Smitha
Great shot and superb pose. Both seem to be in a fighting mood. Excellent sharpness. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2008-03-07 9:55]

Hi Smitha,

This is a strange bird. You captured two of them. Its funny the way these birds are looking. Sitting in the shade of the tree with only a bit of light. Fantastic capture.


Hello Smitha. I have never seen this before. Excellent sharpness and clarity in this shot and having a pair like this is truly amazing. Regards. Jusni

For one thing, their faces are funny alright, Smitha.
But then so what? Even I have a funny face :-)!
This is a brilliant shot of these two Frogmouths taken with your innovative camera settings. Fantastic details and their eyes are so very sharp. They are perched so close it appears as if they are welded together. The way they are looking back at you in a constant stare proves the veracity of the fact you have mentioned in your note that they are not not unduly scared of human beings until threatened.
God willing, I would like to see them with my own eyes some day.
Thanks for sharing this outstanding image of these rather rare birds and regards.

I suspect that these two find each other quite lovely... but they are mighty unusual. It is a very nice sharp image.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-03-08 5:05]

Hi Smitha,
Outstanding shot of this Frogmouth duo and you have captured a fabulous pose from both of them - uncanny similarity. In fact both of them have one eye on you. Very impressive sharpness, colours and details on their plumage with superb lighting and exposure. I like the natural surrounding. Great DOF and chosen POV and the composition is top-class. Kudos.

hello Smitha

what a lovely amazing birds, it is the first time i see this,
thank's four your poting and for the creators of this wonderful site,

i am laughing, because happy to see such amazing bird
and because i love so much the eye-contact of the one
that is at the right side, excellent POV and framing,
excellent sharpness and details of the plumage,
i love the hard density of the colours, TFS


  • Great 
  • sray Silver Star Critiquer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 0] (242)
  • [2008-03-08 6:24]

Hello Smitha
Nice shot ! love the composition . And the eyes are so sharp . Cannot say I find these birds beautifull, but ...
Good job and TFS

Hi Smitha,

Another brilliant capture from you..
Proud to watch this AMAZING shot..
All the best ...


amazing shot i really like the simetry here
very nice colours and well focused
I love it
tfs Toba

Hello again
This is just a superb capture of a pair of Frogmouths, excellent POV, excellent detail, and dare I say excellent exposure, hope I haven’t over done it, but its just a great shot, really nice work, all the best Cheers Rick :)

Hi Smitha
Wow amazing capture
Beautiful shot of these two frogmouths
Fantastic color and detail tfs jon

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-03-09 9:42]
  • [3]

Hi Smitha

I must admit that I am somewhat disappointed in the response to my challenge aimed at the TrekNature community, but then again it was no easy challenge, I must admit. At least I am happy for this response and there was one other as well, so far. Obviously this is not a bird you kick out behind every second bush, but hopefully in time we will still see more of them and there are a number of species which we have not seen on the site.

Anyway, this is a lovely capture you made of these two stunning birds in their natural habitat and the personal note plus the researched note is exceedingly value added to the posting. I love how the two are watching you over their shoulders with those big beautiful eyes. Also the two different poses of the birds with the one showing its back to you and the other one showing you its side puts an interesting perspective to this shot.

Great work MF and TFS.

PS. I was also indebted to pay my full obligation of Brownies and hopefully you will consider this visit as paid in full (chuckle).

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-09 9:45]

Hi Smitha,

Not a bird I am familiar with! What a great back to back shot this is. I love the facial expressions - not very pleasant. Wonderful natural colors and superb details. I really like your close crop.


Hello Smitha,

What interesting notes on a very unusual bird! It reminds me of something off Sesame Street, if you are familiar with that programme!
You have captured the leaf-like qualities of these birds very well and shown them to perfection in their natural environment!

Kind regards,
Bev :-).

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-09 10:55]

Wow Smitha! I've never seen this bird before, what a strange and beautiful one! Great shot, the composition is fine, the details are pin sharp anf the exposure and background are perfect. Well done and thanks!


  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-03-09 21:03]

What a wonderful photo of the Frogmouths, I have never seen one in person, this look very impressive. Great sharpness, Beautiful colors, interesting composition with the tow back to back, almost look like a mirrow image. Excellent overall. All your other photos are all really good. I have to spend sometime looking at them in the futrue.

Bonjour Smitha, Très étrange ces oiseaux, je n'ai jamais vue cet espèce, la scène est superbe, tout est parfait

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-03-10 18:30]

Hello Smitha,
Simply wonderful image with great sharpnees and colors. They look so cozy together. Your notes and image are both superb Smitha, thanks for sharing.

Great shot! Sharply focussed and very good colours.

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-03-19 15:10]

Hi Smitha,

Not one but a pair of Frogmouths, very interesting creatures.
Good details !
Great timing in capturing them with such a cute expression!.


  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-03-26 0:36]

Helo Smitha,
These Frogmouths are really amazing birds! beautifully captured in great pose and with great details & nice natural colors,
regards, Dejan

Hi Smitha,
what a fascinating pair of birds and they sure are well named.I do not believe I have ever seen birds such as these until now that is and the photo is right as rain as far as exposure and clarity of details are concerned.They must be about the most still of all birds for your shutter speed as so slow and yet not a hint of blurriness.Thanks for this unique looking contribution to TN. Bob

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-04-20 23:32]

Hi Smitha, I like your Sri Lankan Frogmouth shot. I had never even heard of a Frogmouth up to a year ago, and have only seen the Tawnies once. You have a good capture of these guys, with a good "eyes open" pose. Light is good, with good colour and detail seen on the birds.

Thanks, John

amazing couple, TFS Ori

incredible! never seen anything like this before. so strange looking. TFS!

Calibration Check