Photos: Tawny frogmouth chicks hatch at SeaWorld Orlando

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The SeaWorld Orlando Aviculture Team has their hands full providing round-the-clock care for four tawny frogmouth chicks that recently hatched in the park.

The chicks hatched December 6, 9, 11, and the most recent addition on January 14. Currently their weight ranges from 18-240 grams and they’ll grow to weigh as much as 400-600 grams.

The chicks are being hand-raised by the SeaWorld Aviculture Team, and it’s a 24-hour job caring for the hatchlings. Each goes home nightly with a member of the team who provides scheduled feedings every 3-4 hours and monitors the chick closely throughout the night.

SeaWorld Orlando is a leader in care for tawny frogmouths and has one of the most successful breeding programs. Since the program started in 1993, 51 frogmouth chicks have hatched at the park. SeaWorld Orlando has partnered with several members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums dedicated to the future success of the species.

Fun fact: Although they may look like owls, tawny frogmouths are far from it and are not a part of the same family. Tawny frogmouths are native to Australia and have distinct markings that help them camouflage on a tree branch. They have a behavior called “stumping” where they freeze, standing very tall and make their bodies very thin to simulate a tree branch. This behavior helps to camouflage them from predators in the wild.