Family Frogmouths (Podargidae)

Least Concern

Hodgson's Frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni)


French: Podarge de Hodgson German: Langschwanz-Froschmaul Spanish: Podargo colilargo

Otothrix hodgsoni

G. R. Gray

, 1859,

northern India = Darjeeling, Sikkim


Resembles B. moniliger in coloration and pattern, and the two species replace each other geographically, but differences in facial bristles, clutch size, egg size and adult plumage markings suggest that they are probably too dissimilar to be regarded as being very closely related. Sometimes treated as a race of B. javensis, but differences in bill size and structure, development of facial bristles, relative tail length and vocalizations, and also perhaps bare-part colours (bill said to be darker) too great for the two to be considered conspecific or even as very close. Validity of allegedly smaller and shorter-tailed race indochinae sometimes questioned, as measurements overlap with those from NE Indian individuals. Birds from Manipur (NE India) described as race rupchandi, but apparently inseparable from other Indian populations. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. h. hodgsoni (G. R. Gray, 1859) – foothills in NE India (Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh S to Manipur and Tripura) E to N & W Myanmar; recently recorded also in C Bangladesh#R.
  • B. h. indochinae Stresemann, 1937 – E & SW Myanmar and extreme S China (SW Yunnan) E to N Thailand, Laos and C Vietnam (Annam).
  • Descriptive notes

    22–27 cm; 51 g. A small Batrachostomus with well-marked sexual dichromatism, but little variation in coloration of adult of either sex. Male rufous-brown above... read more


    Call of female (probably territorial song) is a single long whistle, which usually rises and then... read more


    Subtropical evergreen forest on hills and lower montane slopes, at 300–1900 m elevation.

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of moths, beetles and other large insects. Recent accounts suggest that food is hawked in air or taken on ground or from... read more


    Season Apr–Jul in NE Indian region; laying in Annam in late Feb or early Mar. Nest is a small, neat pad composed mainly of the birds... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Apparently rare in many parts of E Himalayas and foothills, and certainly rare in Bangladesh; formerly rare in much of Myanmar, except in Chin Hills... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holyoak, D.T. (2020). Hodgson's Frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 February 2020).