It might come as a surprise to some that the bird who mimics a dead tree branch is the hottest bird on the ’gram, but science doesn’t lie. The study by German researchers Dr Katja Thömmes and Dr Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring set out to answer the question: what makes a good bird photo? The study analysed nearly 30,000 bird photos from popular Instagram accounts using an algorithm to see which photos attracted the most ‘likes’.
The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is found throughout Australia, including Tasmania. They are masters of camouflage with their speckled grey, white, black and rufous plumage. Often confused with owls, they are actually more closely related to Nightjars. Their stocky heads and big yellow eyes can make them appear angry; it’s been referred to as “resting bird face” in The New York Times.
Other popular Instagram influencers of the bird world include colourful pigeons and an African with a punk hairstyle. For all the bird fans, feast your eyes on the top nine Instagram pages from the study: