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Duration:03:43
Uploaded:2019-10-11
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Frogmouths are a kind of night-hunting, bug-loving bird that live in India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. They're very good at catching bugs and hiding and very bad at building nests. They mate for life and, in places where there are cars, they are very good at getting hit by them because they fly toward the bugs that are illuminated by headlights. Dangit.

If you want to know more, check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIDWjGkOnhM which the people at Birdlife Australia were kind enough to let me use! Check out the great work they do making Australia a great place for native birds here: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/

I really love the pins from the Bizarre Beasts Pin Club we're doing! Sorry it's not open to folks who aren't currently in, but it's the best way to make sure we don't over-produce pins and create unnecessary waste!


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Good morning John,

So Owls are pretty cool right: the big eyes, the silent flight, the ears- ears! But also everybody knows that owls are cool. What about Frogmouths.

Under appreciated. You probably haven’t even heard of them . And they’re like Owls, except not at all- despite the big, front-facing eyes and the nocturnal habits, Frogmouths are actually more closely related to Hummingbirds than to owls.

And those eyes are really what does it for us right because we humans are so eyeball focused as a community based species, we see those eyes as like a sign of intelligence or emotion. And I’m not saying they’re not smart, birds are smart but ravens are smarter. If Ravens had eyes like Owls, we would let them teach kindergarten.

But then you mix those eyes with this big, ridiculous mouth and you get something that doesn’t really appear wise so much as alternately high, startled, sleepy, cranky, shocked and adorably furious. 

Frogmouths are night hunters just like Owls hence the convergent evolution on big front facing eyes but they mostly eat bugs- though they will eat a mammal that happens close enough by, they have a hard time killing them so they’ll just wack them on rocks until they die.

But they most eat bugs, so instead of big, powerful legs, they have a big, gigantic mouth. The bigger that mouth got, the higher the odds of a successful catch so the mouths just kept getting bigger- they’re so big.

And if you spend enough time looking at Frogmouths, you‘ll notice something that also checks the box of like the human evolutionary cute brain. Their heads appear to be as big as the whole rest of their body and that is nearly the case. And then if you go to the next level of like cute brain check marks, turn it into a baby and it becomes suddenly clear that like Furbys are infringing on the Frogmouth trademark. Eugh, God my heart- I just wanna squish it.

Frogmouths however are terrible parents, possibly because they have such tiny useless legs and also their beaks are so specialised. They’re just very bad at nest building. They often lose eggs or chicks to the perils of that surprise gravity but they will take advantage of the nests of more careful nest builders or human objects that look like good nests. So that’s even cuter- what the heck.

But then wait before I go, sometimes they are not cute because they can shape shift. Frogmouths sleep during the day and they’re pretty small so they have to be wary of predators and they have in their toolkit a number of ways to deal with this. The first, is that they can just look like logs; they even will sometimes sway in the wind like they are a piece of the tree. But, when threatened, they can also change shape to like scary looking things or just weird looking- like I don’t know what to do with this.

And the Tawny Frogmouth of Australia has like a plan C and D: plan C is just to peck at the enemy and plan D is to spray poop all over it. Hooray for the Tawny Frogmouth- you shape-shifting, cryptically disguised, poop spraying, bug catching, nest neglecting, grown up bird Furby. I love you.

John, I’ll see you on Tuesday. 

Also, coming up, beginning October 28th, it’s Pizzamas; it’s that time of the year when John and I pretend like it’s 2007 and we make videos every single weekday, we also sell a number of Pizza John related products.

Orin saw this [Pizza John T-Shirt] this morning and he pointed at it and said “that, that.” and I said “It’s Pizza John.” and he said “It brings us the pizza.” He’s so smart.

But we have a product that wouldn’t make sense to sell on October 28th because you need it before then- it’s the Pizza John Halloween mask. This is the worst thing we’ve ever done and I love it and it’s available at DFTBA.com. I hope we sell them.