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Caprimulgiformes > Nyctibiidae

Common Potoo

Nyctibius griseus

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Identification

POWERED BY MERLIN

Strange nocturnal bird like a mix between an owl and a nightjar. Large head and huge yellow eyes. Overall grayish-brown with splotchy patterning. Black mustache stripe helps distinguish from Great Potoo, along with smaller size. Spends the daytime perched on the end of a snag, where it blends in perfectly and becomes very difficult to spot. At night, hunts mainly for flying insects from an exposed perch. Found in open forested habitats with scattered trees, such as forest edges, along rivers or roadsides, or even in disturbed patchy woodland. Listen for mournful series of whistles, descending in pitch: “POO, POO, Poo, poo, poo.”

POWERED BY MERLIN

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Learn more about Common Potoo from…

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America