Nyctibius griseus - mãe-da-lua - Common Potoo | ©Ricardo Augusto Gomes da Costa   (Regua Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Nyctibius griseus (Caprimulgiformes - Nyctibiidae) is a large nocturnal bird of lowland forests and forest edges of southern Central America and central and northern South America.

Nyctibius griseus is commonly named Common Potoo in English, or Nictibio urutaú, Nictibio, Urutaú común, Pájaro fantasma, Biemparado norteño, Pájaro estaca menor o Estaquero común, in Spanish. Many of these regional names allude to its distinctive way of perching on branches or trunks, with head erect and completely immobile.

During the day, Common Potoos usually roost on snags, exposed branches or fenceposts, where their disruptive coloration helps them remain avoid detection. Have you been able to easily distinguish the two birds - mother and chick - in the picture?

They  forage at night by sallying from exposed perches to catch flying insects.  Common Potoos most frequently are detected by their amazingly haunting, descending song [listen here]. They also can be located at night with a spotlight by searching for eyeshine at the tops of exposed perches.

Common Potoos lay only a single egg, and do not build a nest; the egg is nestled on top of a stump or a broken branch, or in a slight depression on a large tree limb.

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