can you own a potoo bird

Behavior edit

Due to their strong nocturnal nature, potoos rarely fly during the day. They sit on branches and keep their eyes half closed during the day. Their mysterious feathers give them the appearance of stumps, and if they sense danger, they assume a “freeze” stance that makes them even more like broken branches. [16][17] The observer hardly notices the gradual change from the perching to the freeze position.

The English zoologist Hugh Cott refers to Nyctibius griseus as “this wonderful bird” and notes that it “usually occupies a small hollow that is just, and only just, large enough to contain it as a receptacle for its egg,” which it habitually selects the top of an upright stump for. Just below the fracture line, a new leader had emerged from the chosen stump. and the birds were positioned to face this in a way that, when seen from behind, caused them to align and blend in with the grey stem. “[18].

Species edit

The family Nyctibiidae contains seven species in two genera:[11]

Before 2018, the rufous potoo was thought to be the only extant genus in the Nyctibiidae; however, a study conducted that year revealed a significant divergence between it and all other species in the genus. As a result, the rufous potoo was described in the new genus Phyllaemulor, increasing the number of genera in the family. [12] The International Ornithological Congress took place in 2022 after that. [11].

Furthermore, the earliest known fossil evidence of potoos comes from the Eocene of Germany (the Messel pit), where the fossil genus Paraprefica, the sole member of the extinct subfamily Parapreficinae, is known to exist. Analysis indicates that the fossil genus Euronyctibius, which is from the Oligocene period of France, is actually a close relative of the oilbird (family Steatornithidae), despite its previous classification as a potoo. [10][13].

Food and feeding edit

Potoos feed at dusk and at night on flying insects. [6] Their usual method of foraging consists of perching on a branch and occasionally flying out like a flycatcher to catch a passing insect. They don’t try to catch prey on the ground; instead, they occasionally fly to vegetation to snag an insect off it before going back to their perch. Their primary food source is insects, but they also consume termites, grasshoppers, and moths. There was also a small bird in the stomach of one northern potoo. Potoos catch insects and swallow them whole, without crushing or beating them.


Are there potoo birds in the US?

There are seven different species of potoo, which are found in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. They’re cousins of the nightjars (the family that includes nighthawks and whip-poor-wills), but despite their big eyes and nocturnal habits, they’re not closely related to owls.

How rare is a potoo bird?

The IUCN has assessed the common potoo as being of Least Concern. It has an extremely large range and a population of at least 500,000 mature individuals.

Where can you find a potoo?

The Common Potoo is widely distributed in southern Central America and throughout the lowlands of northern and central South America.

Do potoos mate for life?

Common Potoos are monogamous, staying with 1 partner throughout their lives. The females lay 1 egg at a time during the breeding season. The Common Potoo is not considered endangered as yet, however there is still a need to conserve it and educate your friends and family about this bird.