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Great Potoo ❤

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The Great Potoo, (Nyctibius Grandis), is a near passerine bird, both the largest potoo species and the largest member of the order Caprimulgiformes, (nightjars and allies). They are also one of seven species in one genus, Nyctibius, located in tropical America.

Much like owls, this species is nocturnal. They prey on large insects and small vertebrates, which they capture in sallies from high perches.

Possibly its most well known characteristic is its unique moaning growl that the Great Potoo vocalizes throughout the night, creating an unsettling atmosphere in the Neotropics with its nocturnal sounds.

The Great Potoo has a large head in relation to its body. The eyes are also very large with a brown to yellow iris and has a short but broad beak. Their wings are elliptical in shape and the tail is elongated. The feather colors vary with white, gray, black, and burgundy. The tail colors match with that of the rest of the body with the exception of white bars that can be seen going across the tail laterally.

They range from southern Mexico through northeastern Guatemala and through most of Central America down through South America as far as southeastern Brazil and Bolivia.

In general the Great Potoo are distributed from humid to semi-humid forested habitats. While this species is widely spreadout geographically, by comparing two subspecies, there is little to no variation in their appearance such as size or plumage. The Great Potoo is found mostly in dense lowland forest, forest edges and clearings. It may also range into foothills, (up to about 1,500 m elevation), second-growth, open woodlands, (including plantations), and is sometimes seen around meadows, but they always require trees-etc., for their camouflaged imitative perch.

In the day they are normally found perching or nesting usually higher than 12 meters above ground level within big trees. The branches they choose to perch usually are nearly 20 to 30 centimeters in diameter. At night time, they may go to lower perches like 1.5 meters above the ground, from which they hunt.

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  1. sukoi38:08
  2. meandmydogs45:44
  3. Dmitra48:09
  4. chivi11153:27
  5. peggysuss54:57
  6. jojo531:27:05


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@peggysuss Thank you for commenting! Glad you like this odd bird, too! :-)


Very interesting. Thank you for the pic. and info. :-)

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