Know the 7 species of Potoo birds

If we are talking about rare birds, the potoos have a lot to do with it, since there are around 7 species of these majestic insect-hunting birds.

Do you want to know more about this surprising bird? Stay until the end ofThis post to learn more about how they are identified from each other and why it is one of the most spectacular and emblematic birds.

This species is found more in South America in countries such as Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, French Guyana, Venezuela, Peru and Guyana. Regarding its appearance, it can reach a weight of 46 to 57 grams and measures around 21 to 25 centimeters long.

It is recognized by its unusual color and for being the smallest Potoo of this family. Its peculiar color is denoted as a deep orange-red, with pale colors at the level of its throat and large white spots.

At the level of its belly, the spots have a thin black edge, while its tail has dark bars.

Even this bird, due to its colors and appearance of upright posture, looks more like a dead leaf. Most of its time is spent in a roost, where it makes gentle swaying movements.

The Great Potoo has its habitat from northeastern Guatemala to southern Mexico, but they have also been sighted in much of South and Central America. Just as from Bolivia to southeastern Brazil, it usually feeds on small invertebrates and large insects.

This species stays in high positions to be able to capture larger flying insects such as orthoptera, grasshoppers, beetles, among others. He is distinguished from the others by his particular and plaintive moan. This bird usually sings almost all night, causing a disturbing context around it due to its iconic sounds.

It is also distinguished by having a huge head compared to its body and its enormous eyes. Its beak is wide and short, with an elongated tail and elliptical wings. Regarding their plumage color, these Potoo birds dress in colors such as burgundy, gray, white and black. On its tail you can see white stripes that can be seen crossing laterally over it.

This third species of Potoo birds is found in South America except for Uruguay and Chile. It has a size of 42 to 58 centimeters long and can weigh 28 to 45 grams. To differentiate itself, this potoo has a large characteristic mustache with brown stripes and beige spots at the nape of the neck and crown. While its rump and back have a mottled brown color.

This bird is also nocturnal and feeds on flying insects, including moths, beetles and termites in its diet.

The White-winged Potoo is the fourth bird that makes up the Potoo family of birds, and they are located in Venezuela, French Guyana, Brazil, Suriname and Peru. This one is a little smaller than the others, measuring 24 to 29 centimeters long.

It can be more robust compared to its weight, since it ranges from 77 to 85 grams, although its weight has not been officially documented. It is denoted by its dark brown color on the upper half and a light brown color on the lower half.

This bird is usually found in continental countries and in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in South America with the exception of Chile. They can measure between 34 to 38 centimeters long, having a mottled and reddish brown, black, gray and white color.

The appearance of the common Potoo allows it to camouflage itself in the place where it stays most of its time, that is, in the branches. This type of Potoo bird cannot be differentiated with the naked eye regarding the female and the male. They have small pupils and resemble giant black dots, as well as giant yellow irises, with three or two slits in relation to their eyelid.

This fifth species of this bird is also distinguished from others by being monogamous and after the mating phase, the female only lays a single white egg. Afterwards, both the male and the female allocate times to hatch that egg; they are experts at optimizing their time.

This sixth species of Potoo has been sighted in countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. With a length of 34 to 40 centimeters, which can weigh approximately 195 grams in males. While females do reach a weight of 145 to 185 grams, regarding their color on the upper part they have white spots and speckled stripes, as well as black, reddish or beige.

This bird also has a white color on its throat and chin, and in the lower part of the throat it has a washed cinnamon color. While on its chest it has a reddish and beige band that serves as a separation in the upper part of its belly. The female is characterized by generally having a lighter color; On the other hand, it has a beige color on its wing coverts.

We have reached the top 7 species of Potoo birds, with the northern Potoo, this last species can be found in several countries, Costa Rica, Mexico, as well as on the islands of Hispaniola and Jamaica. Before it was classified as a species that derived from the common Potoo, that changed and it is classified as a different species, as a result of its differences.

This seventh bird is unique for having vocalizations that identify it, its size is one of the largest of this species, ranging from 38 to 46 centimeters. With long pointed wings and tail, with a small beak and very short wings, they usually pose in an upright position.

Regarding its diet, it does not differ much from its sisters, since it also eats insects such as beetles and moths. It has a grayish brown color, it also consists of cream, black and gray markings, its eye contains a yellow iris that could change its brightness to a red color when night falls.

The exhaustive study of the seven species of Potoo birds highlights the uniqueness and diversity of these nocturnal birds. From the Rufous Potoo to the Northern Potoo, each species exhibits unique characteristics in its appearance, size and environment. These birds, known for their disturbing calls and nocturnal insect hunting habits, show surprising adaptations for hiding among branches and catching prey in flight.

The extensive geographical distribution, from Central America to South America, offers a fascinating insight into the variability of avian life in different regions. Their unusual morphology, combined with their characteristic habits and sounds, make them extraordinary and valuable species in the nocturnal bird ecosystem on the American continent.