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Common Potoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo by megan perkins
Amazonia Lodge, Peru, November 2005
Nyctibius griseus


33-38cm (13-15 in)

  • Pale grey to brown
  • Finely patterned with black and buff
  • Large orange iris


Central and South America
Central America: Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina


Photo by Aralcal
Aralcal, Colombia, August 2009


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • N. g. panamensis:
  • N. g. griseus:

An additional subspecies cornutus is generally considered invalid[2]


Forest, open woodland, grasslands and plantations.


Most active at dawn and dusk.


The diet includes insects.


The single egg is laid in an unlined bowl on top of a tree stump. Both adults incubate the egg and care for the chick. It is fed at night.


Call: a melancholic mournful 'poor me one'


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Arthur Grosset
  4. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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