• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.
Common Potoo

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus)

The urutau has a unique adaptation in birds, called the "magic eye". There are two slits in the upper eyelid, which allow it to remain still for long periods, observing its surroundings, even with its eyes closed.

They measure between 33 and 38 centimeters in length and weigh between 145 and 202 grams. (Cohn-Haft, 1999).
According to Cleere (1998), the mother-of-the-moon has individuals with plumage of different colors, these plumages are known as gray phase and brown phase.
Adults in the gray phase have a greyish-brown color widely streaked with dark brown on the forehead, crown and nape. The back is grayish brown, with dark brown spots and streaks. The shoulders are grayish brown with whitish streaks and spots, dark brown stripes and streaks. The rump is grayish brown speckled with brown, striped and mottled with dark brown. The rectrices are brown, widely barred with grayish brown or grayish white. Primary remiges brown in color, mottled grayish brown along the outer edges, and slightly mottled or barred with grayish brown along the inner edges. Secondary remiges are brown, with grayish brown bars.
Flowers and ears pale gray, streaked with dark brown. Chin and throat pale brownish gray, with thin brown stripes, and limited by a dark stripe on the side of the throat. Chest and sides greyish brown, speckled with brown, with fine stripes and dark brown spots. Belly and undertail feathers are beige in color, often brownish or tinged with cinnamon, speckled and vermiculated with brown and finely streaked with dark brown.
The irises are yellow, the beak is black or blackish and the tarsi and feet can be brownish, brown or even gray. Both sexes have similar plumage
Adults in the brown phase have the same color pattern as adults in the gray phase, but the background color of the plumage is brownish or even brownish-brown.
The immatures of the species are similar to the adults, but have paler and more whitish plumage.
Juveniles of the species are similar to the immature, but are more whitish, and have dark brown spots along the shoulders.
The chicks, shortly after hatching from the eggs, are covered with white plumage with pinkish tones on the upper parts and have fine dark gray barring.
Bioma Predominante: Mata Atlântica - Geographic distribution Present locally throughout Brazil, including within cities, in well-wooded areas. Also found from Costa Rica to Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay.
Mogi das Cruzes/SP - Brazil
Date taken
Scientific name
Nyctibius griseus
Equipment used

Media information

Central & South America & Mexico
Added by
Luciano Bernardes
Date added
View count
Comment count

Image metadata

Focal length
280.0 mm
Exposure time
1/400 second(s)
File size
5.4 MB
Date taken
Sun, 15 October 2023 4:44 PM
3500px x 2337px

Share this media