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The Great Potoo | Know About 10 Facts

The Great Potoo

Yes, The Great Potoo is a natural, real creature in the real world. No, the universe is not kidding. Once you have some facts about these birds, you will realize that these fun birds look fantastic and are unique. Well, impressive and a bit weird.

Despite the goofy appearance, the funny-looking big potoo bird is a creature that’s a bit creepy. Pothos are considered a force to be reckoned with between their sinister, piercing cries and the fact that they eat other birds. These nocturnal creatures prefer to wander on their perches and stealthily hunt their prey. They are the strangest birds in the jungle, not only because of their appearance but also their peculiar behaviour.

1. Potoo birds are the subject of horror folklore.

Potoo screams at the moon with sad and frightening cries, resulting in her becoming the subject of painful and scary folklore. For example, the Shuar people of Ecuador believe that the cry of Potoo comes from a spirit in love with the moon. Legend has it that a man was angry with his wife, but he ran to heaven when she tried to apologize.

She tried to chase after him but fell back to the ground and turned into a bird. Her husband became the moon, and since she could never reach him again, the wife spent the night awake, crying for her lost love.

Nyctibius grandis - Great Potoo; Apiacás, Mato Grosso, Brazil.jpg
2. Potoos can see you walking with his eyes closed

This strange bird can follow you with its eyes closed. Potoos have narrow pores at the bottom of their eyelids, allowing them to feel movement. They can track their prey even when their eyes are closed. Or, even when asleep, they can detect approaching shadows to avoid harm.

3. Potoo Birds have a terrible screech

Potoos are noisy birds and make noises when most of the world is trying to sleep. The Common Potoo makes the loudest noise at night. The song has been described as “a sad series of four to six descending flute tones” that bring a sense of sadness. The bird also has a deep, guttural howl that often scares climbers in the rainforest and is considered one of the unique bird songs in the world.

4. Potoos mostly eat insects but sometimes shoot down small birds.

Potoos are not their kind’s regular eaters but opportunistic eaters. Although they prefer to feast on insects such as moths, beetles, and grasshoppers, pothos has been found with small birds in their stomachs. If given the opportunity, they will eat. But only at night.

These nocturnal creatures hunt patiently long after the sun goes down. They are known to sit on high branches in trees and grab their food in quick “surlies” or attacks.

Mãe-da-lua-gigante (Nyctibius grandis).jpg

5. Potoos are lazy

The potoos are mainly immobile. There are reports of little people stowing away on boats, but for the most part, they open their mouths, catch a few moths, and perch on their stumps. They are rarely seen during the day and settle in one spot without straying too far.

6. Potoos is not a player

These strange birds are not gamers. They don’t mate with many other potoo birds and are usually entirely monogamous. It’s a little sweet. Once these wide-eyed, strange-looking birds find love, it’s forever.

7. The Potoos are excellent co-parents.

When potoos mate, they are indeed a very loving family. The males incubate the eggs during the day, and both males and females incubate them together at night. The chicks hatch about a month after laying an egg and remain in their nesting area for two months. This is quite a long time for land birds.


8. Potoos have seriously submissive mouths.

The most recognizable feature of pothos is their enormous mouth. Despite having tiny beaks, these birds have huge mouth openings, as they open their mouths like a net to catch moths, beetles and other insects that fly at night.

9. The Potoo bird is not a species.

Potoos are not unique species of birds. They are a group of related species in the family Nyctibiidae. They belong to the genus Nyctibius and branch into one of seven genera. So depending on the species you’re looking at, pothos can look quite different in terms of colour and size.


10. Potu birds were everywhere during prehistory.

Potoos are often found in Central and South America. While they are common primarily in the Amazon Basin, they lived throughout Europe. Potoo fossils have been found in France and Germany, proving that they were all over the world during prehistoric times.

Description about Great Potoo

Great Pot00, Nyctibius Grandis

The Great Pot00 has a large head concerning its body. The eyes are also huge with a brown to yellow iris, and its beak is short but comprehensive. The shape of its wings is elliptical, and the tail is long. Feather colours vary from white, grey, black and burgundy. The tail colours match the rest of the body except for the white stripes that can later be seen running down the tail. (see reference below)

Mass range: 360 to 650 g (13 to 23 oz)
Length range: 480 to 600 mm (19 to 24 inches)
Wingspan Reach: 700 to 804 mm (27.6 to 31.7 in)
Average wingspan: 734.8 mm (28.93 in)


Distribution and habitat about Potoos

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

The Great Potoo is distributed in humid to semi-humid forested habitats. While this species is geographically widespread, its appearance has little or no variation, such as size or plumage. The Great Potoo is mainly found in dense lowland forests, forest edges and clearings. It can also occur on slopes (up to an altitude of about 1,500 m), open second-growth woodland (including plantations), and sometimes seen around meadows. Still, trees are always needed for their excellent perch. It occurs. Camouflage.

During the day, they are usually found sitting or nesting inside large trees more than 12 m above ground level. The branches they choose to settle on are generally between 20 and 30 cm in diameter. At night, they can move to lower perches 1.5 m above the ground, from where they hunt.

Food of Great Potoo

Their prey consists mainly of giant flying insects, enormous beetles, grasshoppers, and orthoptera (crickets and grasshoppers). Bats and birds are also sometimes caught. The great potoo takes advantage of the night and its natural camouflage, sitting on an exposed perch to wait until prey flies away, turning to face the prey and returning to the branch with it. Very often, birds of this species use the same hunting perch at night.


Breeding is usually recorded from February to August, but depending on the part of this bird’s range, breeding birds can be found almost year-round. The nest is a slight depression in a thick tree branch at least 10 m (33 ft) above the ground, measuring about 5.2 cm × 3.8 cm (2 .0 in × 1.5 in) with a white (lightly speckled) egg. Few details about brooding behaviour are known, but about a month elapses until the young appear alone on the nest. Some day-old chicks weighed 220 g (7.8 oz). After about five weeks, the babe is two-thirds the version of the adult, but with a lighter build, paler plumage, a shorter tail, and a shorter bill with fewer rectal bristles. The flight duration should be at least two months. After this period, the young do not return to the nesting site.

Although the adult potoo is likely to have some natural predator, predation on eggs, moults, and moults is not uncommon. Adults stay near the nest all day, relying on camouflage to protect their young. Unconfirmed predators of large potoo nests in Costa Rica include mantle howlers, Jeffrey’s spider monkeys, white-headed capuchins, and monkeys such as Tyra and collared falcons.



Is the Potoo bird extinct?

The Great Potoo is not yet recognized as endangered; however, there is still a need to preserve it and educate your friends and family about this bird. Forests are being destroyed throughout South and Central America, and one day this bird may even lose its home if we don’t do something to ensure it survives.

Is it a real Potoo?

Seven potoo species are found in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. They are cousins ​​to nightjars (the family includes nightjars and nightjars), but despite their large eyes and nocturnal habits, they are not closely related to owls.

How big is the Great Potoo?

With a length of up to 60 cm and a wingspan of more than 70 cm, the great potoo is the largest member of the Caprimulgiformes, an order of birds that includes nightjars and frogmouths.

Are potoos related to owls?

Seven potoo species are found in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. They are cousins ​​to nightjars (the family includes nightjars and nightjars), but despite their large eyes and nocturnal habits, they are not closely related to owls.



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