When Aliya Piper received a report about several wounded birds about a minute’s drive from her home, she was taken aback. She goes all around South Australia to assist animals in need as a qualified wildlife rescuer and caretaker, but it just so happened that this one was almost at her front door. The caller reported seeing a mother bird and her two young birds relaxing in the sun on a fence while being surrounded by larger birds, and was worried that the mother could be hurt.
In the beginning, Piper nearly missed the birds as she searched along the fence after walking around the corner.
“I couldn’t see the birds, just some weird timber attached to the fence,” Piper wrote in a post on Facebook.
Of course, the birds were there — they were just really good at blending in.
The mama bird and her babies were actually tawny frogmouths. These kinds of birds are nocturnal, so during the day, they seek out old, dead trees to sleep in, where they’ll be camouflaged well. Instead, this mom had chosen a wooden fence in broad daylight as her perch, making it seem like something was wrong.
“They were probably just enjoying the sun and mistook the log fence for a tree,” Piper said.
When Piper attempted to approach the little family to check them, they all immediately flew to neighboring perches out of reach, demonstrating that they could all fly normally and were in good health.
Piper said, “I’ve never seen wood fly before.
Despite the call being a false alarm, Piper was still glad she got to witness the tawny frogmouths and their camouflage skills — even if they were a little confused about where they should be using them.