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Nyctibiidae - Potoos

Egyptian Slit-faced BatThe Nyctibiidae family includes the potoos. Potoos are large nocturnal birds that eat insects. Unlike other birds in the Caprimulgiformes order, they don't have bristles around their bills.

Potoos are 8-20 inches in length. They have large heads; large, broad bills with a slight hook on the end; and big eyes. They have long wings and a long tail. Their cryptic coloration is a mixture of black, brown, and gray and helps them blend in with tree bark.

Potoos are nocturnal. During the day, they perch on tree branches, where they are hard to spot. If they sense danger, they freeze, making them even more difficult to spot.

Potoos are found in Mexico and Central and South America. There are seven species in this family.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

  New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

None
  Great Potoo - Nyctibius grandis Least Concern
Gray Potoo - Nyctibius griseus Least Concern
Northern Potoo - Nyctibius jamaicensis Least Concern

Other Species Around the World

Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North America South AmericaSouth America New Hampshire Species NH Species

Long-tailed Potoo - Nyctibius aethereus Least Concern South America
Rufous Potoo - Nyctibius bracteatus Least Concern South America
Great Potoo - Nyctibius grandis Least Concern North America South America
Gray Potoo - Nyctibius griseus Least Concern North America South America
Northern Potoo - Nyctibius jamaicensis Least Concern North America
White-winged Potoo - Nyctibius leucopterus Least Concern South America
Andean Potoo - Nyctibius maculosus Least Concern South America

Additional Information

Key: profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Andean Potoo - Nyctibius maculosus Photos Least Concern South America
The Andean potoo is found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Gray Potoo - Nyctibius griseus Photos Video Audio Least Concern North America South America
The gray potoo is is also known as the common potoo. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Great Potoo - Nyctibius grandis Photos Least Concern North America South America
The great potoo is found in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Great Potoo - Nyctibius grandis profile Photos Least Concern North America South America
The great potoo is usually found in forests and rainforests
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Great Potoo - Nyctibius grandis Photos Video Audio Least Concern North America South America
The great potoo is the largest member of the Caprimulgiformes order.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Long-tailed Potoo - Nyctibius aethereus Photos Video Audio Least Concern South America
The long-tailed potoo is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Northern Potoo - Nyctibius jamaicensis Photos Video Least Concern North America
The northern potoo is found in Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Mexico.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Rufous Potoo - Nyctibius bracteatus Photos Video Audio Least Concern South America
The northern potoo is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, and Peru.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

White-winged Potoo - Nyctibius leucopterus Photos Audio Least Concern South America
The white-winged potoo is found in Brazil, Guyana, and Peru.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes