Can You Spot the Very Well-Camouflaged Creature in the Tree? (And Tell What Species It Is?)

By Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
August 15, 2021 Updated: September 11, 2021

If you thought this was just a random photo of a tree with some branches, bark, and leaves, you’d be wrong.

The picture was taken from a Denver Zoo exhibit, and hiding somewhere in its midst lies a stealthy feathered friend.

The zoo posted the picture on their Facebook page to attract animal lovers to stop by—but also to test social media users to see if they could spot the well-hidden critter.

“If you can spot Maui in this photo, you’re ready to look for her and her mate Mordacai in their Forest Aviary habitat in Primate Panorama,” they captioned.

“These birds are excellent at blending in, so take some time to scan those trees carefully, you’ll be glad you did!”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Denver Zoo)

Still searching?

Perhaps you discovered a sneaky little eye peeking a glance at the camera, but were baffled as to what species it belonged to.

Perhaps you thought you were looking at an owl—a creature known for its camouflage. As it turns out, this tree dweller isn’t an owl, but a member of the nightjar family native to Australia called a tawny frogmouth.

There are two tawny frogmouths at Denver Zoo.

“Both Maui and Mordacai moved to Denver Zoo in 2017 as a recommended pair. Although they have always lived with each other, they have not produced any offspring,” a zoo bird keeper told The Epoch Times.

“The pair do get along really well and can often be found sitting near each other. This is the first summer they have lived in our Primate Forest Aviary and seem to be enjoying it.”

Describing the bird’s uncanny ability to blend in with the trees where it lives, they added, “Tawnys are nocturnal birds therefore are awake at night.

Epoch Times Photo
(Wang LiQiang/Shutterstock)

“Their amazing camouflage allows them to sit in the crook of a tree unnoticed during the day while they sleep protecting them from predators such as fox, feral dogs or cats.

“Their feathers look like tree bark and they will stretch out to appear to look like a tree limb.”

Tawny frogmouths like to eat large insects, such as grasshoppers and beetles, as well as small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, and small rodents. At Denver Zoo, the pair are regularly treated to fuzzy mice, pinkie mice, super worms, and crickets.

“These two birds are not only a guest favorite but have captured the hearts of the bird keeper staff well,” the staff added. “Both birds have very unique personalities.

“Maui is more laid back and enjoys bath time while Mordacai can be a bit more feisty.”

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Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.