Sunday, March 19, 2023

Northern Potoo

The northern potoo is a bizarre bird I'd never heard of before preparing for our trip to Jamaica. I saw it on bird lists and looked at photos and it joined my "want to see" list. Wikipedia notes "It is most commonly seen perched motionless in an upright position on branches or posts." That is how I saw photos of it and how I saw it. 
The classic pose. From when I first saw it and started taking photos, it moved slightly and partially opened it eyes to reveal its yellow iris.

It is found from mid-Mexico to Costa Rica and on the islands of Jamaica and Hispaniola. There are five subspecies, including the subspecies only found in Jamaica, which is the nominate subspecies. 

It is very well camouflaged, like the stump of a tree and it is hard to figure out how the bill, mouth and eyes fit in. I've looked at photos and wondered where the mouth is and how it works. 

This last photo revealed its yellow iris, changed how I thought its mouth was configured and reminded by of a yeti. 
It is nocturnal and feeds on large insects like moths and beetles. 

1 comment:

  1. It is almost owl-like in the way its head blends in with its body. Kind of a creepy bird, if you ask me.