While going through the photos for the Birds of the World pages to get them ready to post, I came across this amazing bird.
The Common Potoo (or Lesser) (Nyctibius griseus) is almost hard to find in this photo. Their camouflage colors of brown, black, and grey plumage makes them look just like tree bark. They sleep during the day sitting up and look like a dead branch. Their mouth is quite large which lets them catch prey (flying insects) when they make “quick, short, silent flights.” The Potoo is active at dawn and dusk. They are related to the nightjars and frogmouths and are sometimes called Poor-me-ones, because of the haunting calls. There are seven species in the Nyctibius genus in tropical Central and South America. They seem to prefer humid forests, but a few occur in drier forests.
They do not build a nest, but find a limb with a depression and lay their single egg there. Both parent help with incubation, which takes 30-35 days.
The Great Potoo is 48-60 cm (19-24 in) long, and the Lesser or Common is 33-38 cm (13-15 in) long.
The following Potoo sounds are from xeno-canto America
Great Potoo – Long Tailed Potoo – Northern Potoo – Andean Potoo – Common or Lesser Potoo – White-winged Potoo
The potoos are:
- Great Potoo, Nyctibius grandis
- Long-tailed Potoo, Nyctibius aethereus
- Northern Potoo, Nyctibius jamaicensis
- Andean Potoo, Nyctibius maculosus
- Lesser Potoo or Common Potoo, Nyctibius griseus
- White-winged Potoo, Nyctibius leucopterus
- Rufous Potoo, Nyctibius bracte
The Lord created the Potoo’s with a great plumage that blends in so well. This is for its protection and it serves the bird well. The thing that amazed me about the Potoo is how well it conforms to its surroundings. We are told in Romans 12:2 that we are not to be conformed to the world or to look and act like the unrighteous around us. We are to be transformed or changed by the renewing of our mind.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)