Common Potoo nesting at REGUA SEARCH NEWS

Common Potoo mother and chick.

One of Brazil’s most fascinating bird species, the Common Potoo, has returned to nest in the Guapiaçu Reserve.

Nicholas Locke, Project Co-ordinator for Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA), conservation partner of World Land Trust (WLT) brings us this report:

The Common or Grey Potoo (Nyctibeus griseus), is one of the most iconic birds found in the REGUA Reserve. It perches upright during daytime, motionless with its eyes closed, trying to appear as inconspicuous as possible.

Its Portuguese name, Mae da Lua translates to ‘mother of the moon’, and its melancholic wails at night take on mystical significance that ancient cultures held to be a bad omen. The Common Potoo, photographed, has nested for the second time in REGUA in a crevice of a dead tree where it doesn’t need to make a nest in order to lay its egg.

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The egg successfully hatched resulting in a fluffy mini potoo. The mother looked after it magnificently and its growth was recorded by a series of photographs taken by REGUA volunteer, Sue Healey.

The above image shows the white juvenile feathers and the brown feathers that are starting to emerge, giving it that camouflaged appearance.

Potoos are nocturnal and feed on insects. They are monogamous, staying with one partner throughout their lives.

More information

The Common Potoo is one of the many species that will benefit from WLT’s Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal, aiming to save a critical area of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest in the year of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Update: Thanks to our generous supporters, we exceeded our £40,000 target and were able to safeguard the Olympic Forest.

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