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Potoos: Nyctibiidae

Potoos And People

People rarely see the well-hidden potoos. In the past, the birds were the subject of legends and superstition. Some people thought it was bad luck to mock a potoo's call. The call of the great potoo was supposed to be a sign of upcoming trouble or a death.

Today, people interested in the environment visit potoo habitats. They try to view and photograph the birds.


Potoos do not build nests for their young. Instead of gathering twigs or other nesting material, potoos choose an indented area in a tree for the one egg that the female bird lays. Locations include a broken branch, the forked part of a branch, or a tall tree stump.

After the female lays the egg, both parents incubate it. The potoos are motionless during the daytime, a behavior that young potoos quickly learn.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsPotoos: Nyctibiidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Potoos And People, Gray Potoo (nyctibius Griseus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS