This is a beautifully plumaged bird with mottling or marbling giving the appearance of rough bark. Like other frogmouths, it freezes motionless when disturbed, relying on camouflage to conceal its presence.
This bird is also called the plumed frogmouth due to barred bristles or ‘plumes’ protruding above its bill. It is distinguished from the more common tawny frogmouth which has paler eyes and unbarred plumes.
The marbled frogmouth lives in patches of subtropical rainforest. It is listed as vulnerable in Queensland due to habitat clearing but its distinctive guttural ‘gobble gobble’ call and bill-clapping are occasionally heard in this rainforest. It is most active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular), and takes prey such as insects and frogs from the mid-canopy.