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Tawny Frogmouth. Photo by David Kleinert

General Information & Description:

Tawny Frogmouth @ Wikipedia
Myth of the Tawny Frogmouth “Owl” (The Owl Pages)
Tawny Frogmouth @ Australian Museum

Where: Pretty much everywhere that is neither desert or tropical rainforest.

Planetary Correspondence: Lunar

For Work With:

  • Keeping secrets / remaining unseen
  • All workings within the Lunar Current
  • Enhancing the dream, trance or astral flight
  • Patience
  • Laying spirit traps
  • Revealing hidden messages in divination and other augury

Further Information:

Unlike most birds in Australia, the Tawny is probably not going to bite you. In fact, of all the Australian birds I’ve had the pleasure to pet, the Tawny Frogmouth seemed to enjoy it best of all. They’re just really friendly.

Those birds I did pet, were permanent residence at The Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney. I’ve been many times, and the vast majority of animals and birds they keep there have been rescued after being injured, and unable to return to the wild. So at any time you walk into the park, one of the first things you will see is something very alike to this:

Young boy and tawny hanging out at Featherdale Wildlife Park

In fact, I think I’ve something very similar featuring my own young boy. 🙂

They live there in rather large numbers, and the reason they do so is they are injured in large numbers across the continent. They’re not owls, not raptures, their closest relatives are the Kookaburrah, and though they will hunt on the wing, they prefer to sit quietly and then pounce, either from a height like a kooka, or snapping up things that happen to pass them on their perch. They are adaptable birds, and have worked out how street lights make their quarry all the more susceptible to ambush. Unfortunately it makes the tawny all the more susceptible to injury and death by car. They simply appear out of nowhere.

They tend to be most recognisable at night at the moment they take off from their perch, disturbed by your presence. Otherwise, in the bush during the day they enter short periods of torpor (particularly in winter), and are so well camouflaged against the trees, and at night their call is regularly mistaken for that of the Boobook Owl.

The first picture above shows a Tawny demonstrating the peculiar way in which they stretch their necks out in order to hide. When they close their eyes you would be forgiven for mistaking one for a broken and weathered gum branch.

That’s really where the Tawny Frogmouth comes into its own. Hiding, silence, laying in wait, appearing to be something other than what it is. Keep any feathers you find for smoking tools before divination work, to enhance dreams, and anything that is Lunar, particularly relating to “vision of the unseen”. Included where you want the working to keep hidden, or indeed, if the working is one regarding hiding things (as an inclusion in a protection talisman for nightwork/flight etc.). Inclusions in spirit jars and vessels or any spirit traps (including witch bottles) is advised. This doesn’t have to be a “trap” in the negative sense. Also good for working with other things, garnering new connections, as a show of patience, and willingness to cooperate (unlike owls, they are happy in larger groups). Or indeed, for use on dream-catchers. In augury, look for the second message, indicates you’ve not seen, or have missed something you need to see.

P.S. ‘T’ is for “Tawny Frogmouth”! This post participates with the Pagan Blog Project!