By Marla Lise
Scientific Name: Nyctibius griseus
The Common Potoo is native to South and Central America and can be found from Bolivia through to Venezuela. This bird is commonly found in trees but is sometimes hard to spot. The colors of its feathers help it to camouflage against tree bark, making it look like a broken branch if it keeps very still. If you shine a light at a tree branch at night and see a pair of bright orange saucers staring back at you, you might have just found yourself a Potoo. And the Potoo makes a sound like, “Bo-ou, bo-ou, bo-ou,” pretty funny bird isn’t it.
These solitary birds are nocturnal, coming out and feeding at night. They are insectivores, which means they feed on creepy crawlies- insects such as moths, fireflies, termites and grasshoppers.
Common Potoos are monogamous, staying with 1 partner throughout their lives. The females lay 1 egg at a time during the breeding season.
The Common Potoo is not considered endangered as yet, however there is still a need to conserve it and educate your friends and family about this bird. Forests are being lost all over South and Central America and one day this bird too might lose its home if we don't do anything to make sure that it survives.
Blue and Gold Macaw
Grey Winged Trumpeter
Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Plains Zebra not a rainforest species
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
All about Rainforests
May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects?
Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite kids.mongabay.com as the source.
Can I interview the founder of mongabay.com for my school project?
Unfortunately due to the large number of requests and the need to work on the main mongabay.com site, Rhett (the person who runs mongabay.com) is not available for interviews. However he has answered some common questions on the Rainforest Interview page.
Do you have any games or activities?
Currently there are a few on the resources page. There may be more in the future.
Who are some scientists who study rainforests?
Take a look at the Interviews with rainforest experts page.
How can I help save rainforests?
Some ideas are listed on the Rainforest Solutions page.
Where can I learn more about rainforests?
There is a wealth of information at the main rainforest site
Simplified version (fewer images and links)