Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Variation in vocal response of Plumed Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus) to call-playback

Geoffrey C. Smith A C and Benjamin J. Hamley B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sciences Unit, Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068, Australia.

B Present address: 15 Bayford St, Oxley, Qld 4075, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: geoff.smith@derm.qld.gov.au

Emu 109(4) 339-343 https://doi.org/10.1071/MU09064
Submitted: 25 June 2009  Accepted: 3 September 2009   Published: 9 December 2009


A call-playback study of the southern subspecies of Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus), the Plumed Frogmouth, was undertaken over three years in the Conondale Ranges of south-eastern Queensland to examine seasonal patterns in behavioural response. Responses to call-playback were similar across years, but with some variation that could have been explained by rainfall or habituation. There was a short peak in response in August (owing to territorial behaviour associated with the onset of breeding), a lull in September (associated with laying and incubation), a peak from November to March (coinciding with broading, nestling development, fledging and dispersal) and then a lull during the cooler months of April to July (the non-breeding season). Monitoring for Plumed Frogmouth is probably best undertaken from November to March to maximise the likelihood of detecting the species.


Thanks to Chris Corben and David Behrens for making their recorded calls available and for their observations on Plumed Frogmouths. Call sequences were mixed onto tape by the Audio Workshop (Brisbane). Thanks to staff and volunteers who assisted with these surveys, in particular Kate Park. This study was supported by QDPI ethics approval E93/05.


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