Andean Potoo (Nyctibius maculosus)

The Andean Potoo (Nyctibius maculosus) is a medium-sized nocturnal bird found in the Andes mountain range of South America. This species is part of the Potoo family and is known for its unique appearance and behavior.

The Andean Potoo is around 36 cm in length and has a wingspan of approximately 50 cm. It has a distinctive body shape with a large head, a relatively short and wide bill, and a small body. Its plumage is predominantly gray-brown, and its wings and tail feathers have white spots and bars that enable it to blend in perfectly with its environment. The bird has a unique way of roosting on bare tree branches and uses its cryptic feather patterns to blend into its surroundings, which makes it almost invisible to predators. The Andean Potoo also has large eyes, which have excellent night vision, and it is a silent predator - its prey never sees it coming!

This bird's diet predominantly consists of insects, which it preys on during the night. The Andean Potoo is known to swoop down on its prey from the top of trees and snatch them out of the air. It also has been observed to catch them from leaves, relying on its cryptic feathers to stay hidden from predators while waiting for food.

These birds are solitary and rarely seen by people. They are known to nest on isolated trees and may stay in the same spot for several months. The female lays one simple white egg, which she incubates for around 30 days until it hatches. The Andean Potoo chicks are born with open eyes and a full coat of feathers.

Unfortunately, the Andean Potoo is under threat from habitat loss and destruction of forests. The bird is also hunted for its meat and feathers. The species is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and conservation efforts are needed to protect the Andean Potoo from further decline. It is one of the most enigmatic and least known birds of South America, and its importance and role in the ecosystem are only beginning to be understood.

Other names

Nyctibius maculosus



Andean Potoo

nictibi dels Andes



andski potu

potu andský




Ibijau des Andes


Nittibio delle Ande


andinis didlėlys


nocolot andyjski


Андский лесной козодой

Andski potu

lelkovec andský

Nictibio andino

andinsk poto

And Putusu

поту гірський

andi tüükasorr

andoki álmosmadár