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The Northern Potoo of Belize

21 February 2012 No Comment

Belize Photo: The Northern Potoo

Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Northern Potoo and its scientific name is Nyctibius jamaicensis. The Northern Potoo is a nocturnal bird that belongs to the potoo family and  can be found in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and on the islands of Jamaica and Hispaniola.

A fairly large bird with a length of 38 to 46 centimeters, the Northern Potoo has a long tail, long pointed wings, large head, very short legs and a small bill with a large gape and is most commonly seen perched motionless in an upright position on branches as depicted on the photo above.

Its plumage is grey-brown with an intricate pattern of black, grey and cream markings and its cheeks are pale with a dark malar stripe below them.

The large eye has a yellow iris that can shine red in light at night and its calls are hoarse and guttural and sound like “WHAAAH-whuh-whuh-whuh!”

Want to know more about the birds of Belize? Join us on an early morning bird walk with a Naturalist Guide and spot many species of local and migratory birds that inhabit the 365 private nature reserve.

Photo taken by Naturalist Guide: David Juarez


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