MNN Galleries

14 amazing camouflaged animals

By: Russell McLendon on March 4, 2011, 11 a.m.
Tawny frogmouth

Photo: C. Coverdale/Wikimedia Commons

6 of 16

Tawny frogmouth

Famous for their gaping beaks and big yellow eyes, tawny frogmouths look like cartoon characters — when they're not imitating a tree, that is. If they suspect danger, they simply close their eyes, tilt back their heads and blend into the bark, as the one on the left is doing in this photo (click here to enlarge).

Although they are related to owls, tawny frogmouths are very different birds. They're poor fliers, for one, and don't use their talons to catch prey. In fact, they don't even fly to hunt — instead, they sit eerily still in trees, letting their prey to come to them. They are nocturnal like owls, but mainly eat insects, trapping them in their froglike mouths. They make a nasal, grunting call, which can sometimes be heard on quiet nights in their native Australia and Tasmania.