Great Potoo Bird

At night, they make a terrifying low call that sounds like a distressed moan or growl.
Great Potoo Bird Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Nyctibius grandis
Great Potoo Bird Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, White
500,000 to 5 million
13 – 23 ounces
Great Potoo Bird Distribition

It has a severe, scary phone call.

The great potoo is the biggest of its species and has a vast array throughout Central and South America. This bird is nighttime and creates a reduced phone call that seems similar to a troubled groan or grumble in the evening, scary any person close by. Regardless of its scary articulations, great potoos are not hostile and real-time singular lives. Discover whatever there is to learn about these uncommon birds, including their environment, diet, and reproduction.

5 Impressive Great Potoo Bird Truths

  • Male and female great potoos look so similar that ornithologists have trouble informing them apart.
  • Great potoos are very timid and nervous, investing the majority of their lives in high trees.
  • These birds utilize camouflage to run away predators by extensively mixing with their atmosphere.
  • Great potoos capture their target mid- air, utilizing their big mouths as catches.
  • They can see with their eyes shut! Notches on their top eyelids permit them to pick up activity when their eyes are closed.

Where to Discover the Great Potoo Bird

Their variety starts from Southern Mexico to Northeastern Guatemala and the majority of Central America. They stay in a huge part of Northern South America, and you can locate them as much southern as Brazil and Bolivia. They occupy damp to semi- damp woodlands, mainly thick bogs, cleanings, and woodland sides. However you can locate them in the majority of environments as long as there are trees that can supply camouflage. Various other environments consist of foothills, open timberlands, and fields. Throughout the day, you can locate them setting down or relaxing in large trees over 40 feet in the air. They transfer to decrease branches 5 feet in the air in the evening and quest.


  1. Belize
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Colombia
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Ecuador
  7. French Guiana
  8. Guatemala
  9. Guyana
  10. Honduras
  11. Mexico
  12. Nicaragua
  13. Panama
  14. Paraguay
  15. Peru
  16. Suriname
  17. Venezuela

Great Potoo Bird Nest

Great potoo birds do not construct nests. Rather, they utilize a deep all-natural anxiety or gap in a huge branch, commonly around 30 feet in the air.

Scientific Name

In 1816, French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot put the great potoo and 6 various other potoos in the genus Nyctibius Its genus name is old Greek and indicates “evening- living.” The great potoo is monotypic, suggesting it has actually no acknowledged subspecies.

Dimension, Appearance, and Actions

The great potoo bird has a huge head, titan, round eyes, elliptical exerciser- designed wings, big, open mouths, and a lengthened tail. They consider in between 13 and 23 ounces and expand from 19 to 24 inches with a 28- inch wingspan. Their tinting ranges white, grey, black, and wine red with white side tail bars. Their plumes mix with their environments, frequently making them challenging to place.

They are nighttime predators that perch over trees till they detect their target, after that strike mid- air as it starts to fly. However it goes back to its perch prior to it starts consuming. Throughout the day, it hinges on tree stumps, entirely masked by its environments. These animals are singular and skeptical of humans and various other animals. The very best method to locate them in the evening is to seek the light shown from their eyes.

Great potoos create virginal sets and might mate forever. Nonetheless, little is found out about their dating and reproducing habits, primarily because of their distance in appearance (absence of dimorphism). These birds are not social and just collaborated for reproducing. However they are not hostile in the direction of others of their kind and might also signal each other to threats. Scientists have actually additionally experienced them operating in teams to preventpredators Because of their absence of territorial habits, their singular nature is even more of a choice than a need.

Great Potoo in profile sleeping on a branch during the day
Great potoos are 19 to 24 inches long and have a 28- inch Nyctibius grandis


The great potoo bird mainly consumes flying insects.

What Does the Great Potoo Bird Eat?

They are predators and eat big flying insects, such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids. They additionally sometimes delight in bats and birds. Utilizing the exact same searching perch, the great potoo uses its coloring and cape of darkness to continue to be unnoticeable to target. It conveniently darts out from its perch, orders it with its open mouth, and go back to its favored consuming place.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN provides the great potoo bird as “least concern” because of its big population and broad- varying environment. Nonetheless, their population is continuously decreasing, primarily from environment loss (woodland cleaning). These birds are additionally pursued by residents that utilize their body components for ceremonial events.

What Consumes the Great Potoo?

The great potoo has couple of predators, however their nests sometimes obtain robbed by falcons and monkeys. The grownups frequently stand guard beside the nest throughout the day and count on camouflage for security.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Their reproduction period can be as early as February and as late as August and commonly lines up with the area’s damp period. However some locations supply year- round reproduction problems. Females lay one egg per reproducing period. We do not understand much regarding their brooding habits, however scientists approximate incubation to be around one month. Mated sets interact to breed, feed, and safeguard their young. Chicks are around 7 ounces by a couple of days old, and after 5 weeks, they resemble their moms and dads other than with lighter builds and paler quill. Their young fledge the nest around 2 months old and whisdon’t return.


The IUCN approximates their population to be around 500,000 to virtually 5 million fully grown people. Their numbers are a little decreasing at regarding 7% over 3 generations, more than likely from continuous environment loss.

Up Following:



  1. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  2. JSTOR, Available here:
  3. SORA UNM, Available here:
  4. Degruyter, Available here:

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