Friday, September 10, 2021

The Pootoo or Ghost Bird Wins the Prize for Most Amazing Creature

Nature is amazing, there is no denying that. I offer you my choice for the weirdest living creature on the planet. Here is my argument for bestowing that honor to Nyctibius griseus (commonly called potoo or ghost bird.)

The aptly name ghost bird (actual name potoo) in the light of day looks like something dreamed up by Steven Spielberg. The first time I saw this creature, I stared at it for several minutes trying to discern if it was a sock puppet, a CG, or an actual living creation. Of course, I've spoiled it for you, but even knowing it is real, it is almost hard to believe.

The ghost bird looks like a puppet
 The potoo eats flying bugs and the occasional small bat that it catches when perched as above or when flying at night. The ghost bird certainly takes on the appearance of a sinister creature more likely to be part of a Stephen King mystery when flying about at night. 

Ghost bird, potoo bird in flight looks very eerie

My award is based on the above two weirdnesses, but the potoo is not done yet. During the day, the bird has learned to camouflage itself by appearing to be the extension of a broken tree limb. It points its weird beak up towards the sky and hold this position most of the day.

Camouflage for potoo is amazing

Now, let's turn to potoo eyes. The huge yellow eyes help it to see well at night, but a second eyelid covering allows it to close the eyes to a small slit, but still see. They do this when camouflaged, as the yellow eyes would give them away. Since they can still see, the often allow predators to get very close before they fly away. 

Who is this potoo looking at?

The potoo's final attribute that gives it game-set-match is its haunting call. Watch this video. The entire video is quite cool, but if you just want the call, go to 



Do you have a better choice for weirdest living creature. Let me know in the comments. 

This article is sponsored by Bill Rayman of Homeowners First Mortgage. If you are looking for solid direction and advice regarding your mortgage, whether for a new property or a refinance in California, you should call Bill. He has mortgage products, especially for Jumbo loans, that few other lenders offer.  Call now: (310) 453-4016

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