A Flight Gone Wrong

Wildlife Posted Dec 15, 2020
With spring on the way, more and more native Australian animals will be out in our backyards. Sadly for this Tawny Frogmouth, it got into a bit of a tricky situation recently.

A call came through to the RSPCA to investigate what was thought to be a bird that had been shot with an arrow. It was quickly identified that the bird was a Tawny Frogmouth that had accidentally impaled itself on a car’s antenna. 

The antenna had pierced the side of its body and wing, leaving the poor Tawny sprawled out on the roof of the car, not moving, but still alive. The RSPCA rescue team followed precautions to ensure Mr Tawny was getting the correct treatment. The antenna and bird were both successfully removed from the vehicle and brought into the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital. 

Upon further investigation by the wildlife veterinary team, it was found that the Tawny Frogmouth had endured an extensive amount of muscle and tissue damage. 

Despite medical treatment, followed by a few days of recovery, sadly his condition was deteriorating. Ultimately with his situation worsening and his injuries not healing, Mr Tawny would have been unable to fly again. Sadly the tough decision was made to put him to sleep.

Often mistaken for an owl, the Tawny Frogmouth belongs to the Nightjar family. Along with its ability to stay perfectly still, the Frogmouth’s feathers give it excellent camouflage. Unlike many birds, the Frogmouth doesn’t go hunting for its food, but rather waits for unsuspecting victims such as insects, frogs and other small animals to cross its path before pouncing from atop. 

You may frequently notice Tawny’s in your yard; waiting in trees or sitting on fence posts looking for their next meal. They also can frequent the roadside. Please give them space when you drive if you see them on the road, as headlights can blind their vision and they may not move for you!  

If you see sick or injured wildlife you can contact the RSPCA Animal Emergency Hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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