Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 09/02/2011

“I’m A Very Fat Feathery Owl Called Sage…


… I’m not at all happy, in fact in a rage!” Ba Rum Ba Rum,Ba Rum Ba Rum.

That’s the first thought I had when I saw my first Tawny Frogmouth back in 2002. The tune, for that’s what it was Honest, was from a tv program from my childhood days, the incomparable “The Herbs“. Written by Michael Bond (of Paddington Bear fame), it was a short 5 minute stop-motion based program, based in a walled garden around the central character Parsley the Lion (“I’m a very friendly lion called Parsley,I am always very glad to see you wave.”) and Dill the Dog (” I’m Dill the Dog, I’m a Dog called Dill”*).

Oops got a bit too nostalgic there (but if you remember the program, I bet you any money you were singing the above songs in your head… you were, weren’t you?). So, back on track, Sage was the grumpy old owl in the tree and who’s facial disk seemed to dominate it’s whole body. Similarly, the Tawny Frogmouth seems disproportionate in it’s features, well, when it has it’s eyes opened.

When ever I’ve seen them on a wildlife centre’s list of inhabitants, I’ve made a beeline (after the big cat, reptiles, “viticulture, roads, education“) but have never managed to capture them in decent enough light or a good enough pose. This ‘ere Sage, was in a walk in aviary with numerous other bird species, along with 2 other Tawny Frogmouths. Out of the way sufficiently for people to pass them by, I was able to snap away for 5 minutes or more. In fact the one picture actually fell asleep (odd that, why does that always happen when I try and take an animals’ picture).

Stick to the point… stick to the point… okay, right, actually Tawny Frogmouth are in no way related to Owls, being more closely related to the Nightjar family (which is obvious when you look at them, isn’t it?). However I’ll stick with owl – after all “I’m a very fat feathery.. something related to a nightjar.. called Sage” doesn’t scan as well does it. For those who have the faintest idea what all this wittering is about – here’s something you may enjoy… enjoy!

* Dad, I bet you’re remembering the Herbs book you read to me with me crying with laughter!


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