Precious Hoot’s story

Precious Hoot’s story


Precious Hoot’s story began alone in a dry paddock two valleys northeast from Nightfall. 

Local fellow Bruce was out on his tractor when he spotted this tiny ball of silver-white fluff.  Bruce thought he had found a baby Kookaburra. Now, this kind fellow has an interesting phobia… A phobia of feathers. Due to his fear, he was unable to pick this little bundle up let alone care for it. Bruce called for his wife Janice to collect the baby bird and search for a  nest and parents. At the time Hoot was found the Scenic Rim along with most of the east coast of Australia was experiencing severe drought and wildfires. With a wildfire blazing only a few kilometres from where Hoot was found. Possibly her parents had flown away to safety unable to take their newly hatched chick with them… We can only guess.

Hoot then went into the care of Bruce and Janice’s daughter Laura who is part of the Nightfall team. The day’s Laura worked baby Hoot A Tawney Frogmouth would come with her in a  tiny little old foam esky, constantly making sweet chirping noises and sleeping in the shade of the birds’ nest ferns. Unfortunately, Laura was unable to continue caring for baby Hoot.  Laura’s 2yrs old daughter loved Hoot but did not understand Hoot was a wild animal not a  toy to play with. This is when Steve and Jaide Nightfall’s hosts became Hoot’s full time committed carer’s on the 2nd of December 2019. 

Steve began to research so as he could understand their new little companion. He figured that by Hoot’s weight we could determine how old Hoot is. On the 14th of December 2019, Hoot weighed 168 grams so most likely 5 weeks old and definitely a fledgling beginning to use her wings to explore and catch food. 

Tawney Frogmouth mainly eats insects on rare occasions they eat frogs, lizards, or mice.  Hoot’s diet is mostly pellets made from ground-up insects and what can be found and caught on the Nightfall grounds. In summer there was an abundance of insects especially grasshoppers which Hoot loved and would consume 8-12 just in the evenings. Hoot has never been kept in a cage, she has a tree stump at the main building where she spends most of the daytime sunbathing and sleeping. As the sun sets at Nightfall Hoot takes off to find food and most likely a companion. From a young age, Hoot has responded to  Steve and Jaide’s call. She would sit on shoulders as they walked about and loved being cuddled she is very loving and affectionate. Steve has made a roost just on the outside of his safari tent home Hoot comes and goes as she pleases usually returning at 5 am for cuddles.  Flying into the safari tent and making herself very comfortable with Steve and Jaide as they have a morning cuppa. 

On the 28th September, 2020 Hoot did her usual fly into the safari tent at 5 am… but this time was unsettled was behaving like she was trying to make a nest. By about 6 am there was a  beautiful little egg. Hoot is now in season unsure of how much longer she will be with  Nightfall Camp and the edge of wold heritage Lamington National Park as her desire to find a  mate will be strong and of course the Nightfall Team hopes that she does.

Sharing the Hoot story is just one part of Nightfall’s journey with Australian wildlife. We are constantly caring for and creating more habitat through organic weed control, planting local indigenous flora, and food plants. We have now been successful with 3 x tree grants from Scenic Rim Council and have planted more than 1000 native plants especially for habitat. Looking after our precious flora and fauna is of great importance.

This week is national bird week… ending Sunday 25th October 2021. It will only take 20mins of your time for a worthy cause and a lovely activity to be engaged in … Enjoy

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To end we are sharing our current list of birds seen and heard at Nightfall Camp on the edge of world heritage Lamington National park in the Scenicrim, Queensland, Australia.

Glossy Black and Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo, Tawny Frogmouth, Magpie, Pied Currawong, Southern Boobook and Sooty Owl’s, Williewagtail, Sulphur-crested cockatoo, Red Browed finches, Satin Bower bird’s, Figbird, Rufous Whistler, White-bellied sea Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Pacific Baza, Welcome swallow’s, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Little Black Cormorant, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Spangled Drongo, Eastern Whip bird, Spotted Pardalote, Lewens Honeyeater, Rainbow Lorikeet’s, Australian King Parrot’s, Crimson Rosella, Galah, Azure Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eaters, White-faced Heron, Mistletoe Bird, Scarlet Honey-eater, Pale-headed Rosella,  Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated treecreeper, Yellow Breasted Robin, Golden Whistler,  Grey Crowned Babbler, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Emerald Dove, Australian Brush Turkey, Pacific black Duck, Basian Thrush, and the Rufous Night Heron.