Blending in so perfectly that they look just like a tree stump we have the potoo. The potoo is an carnivorous (eats meat) bird from Central and South America. Unlike many birds in the rainforests, potoos use camouflage rather than flashy colors. Being nocturnal, they sit motionless throughout the day, and awaken at night to hunt insects and even other birds with their huge mouths.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Nyctibius
Length: 8.3 – 23 inches
Weight: 12.69 – 22.91 oz
Now on to the Facts!
1.) This bird has small openings along the bottom of their eyelids that let them see with their eyes closed.
2.) The potoo has a deep, throaty squawk that has startled rainforest visitors! These odd birds have been touted as having one of most unusual calls of any bird.
3.) They prey, primarily, on insects. However, they have been documented eating other birds!
4.) Potoos sit motionless on stumps or in trees all day and only wake after dark to eat.
5.) Monogamy runs deep with these critters. They mate for life, in most cases.
But wait, there’s more on the potoo!
6.) Males incubate the single egg during the day and both take turns incubating at night, for one month, till the egg hatches. The chicks stay with their parents for approximately 2 months.
7.) Because they can’t fly as acrobatically as bats, they have evolved to have very large mouths. They use these large mouths to catch moths and other flying insects. Sometimes they even feed on birds!
Did you know…?
There are actually 7 known species of potoo. Each species looks quite different from the next.
8.) During the prehistoric era, potoos were globally distributed. Now they only reside in the rainforests of Central and South America.