Birds are usually calming and lovable creatures. Unless you have ornithophobia, of course, in which case, the Great Potoo is one bird you will be dead scared of; it is a bird almost everyone will be scared of, ornitho-phobic or otherwise. This bird looks like one of those creepy, perpetually high, and possibly knife-wielding individuals. The Great Potoo, however, is not half as dangerous; only really scary. It is the largest bird in the potoo species (it can grow up to 24 inches!), and its most noticeable feature is its large, orange-yellow eyes that look ready to pop out of their sockets. Other than this, its drawn-out rasping growl, which sometimes resembles a bark, is a characteristic feature of the Great Potoo.
It is a nocturnal bird that prefers to keep itself hidden – a motive that is very efficiently achieved by means of its light brown/grey plumage, which acts as a pretty great camouflage. During the day, the bird sits perched upon branches of trees, motionless, with its beak pointed towards the sky. Only at night does it emerge, pouncing on its prey, returning to its perch in order to seek out its next meal, which consists mainly of locusts, beetles, katydids, and other large insects, and occasionally bats.
They are found populating humid and semi-humid lowland forests, woodlands, and meadows in Central and South America.
It usually builds its nest about 33ft from the ground. It is rumoured that this bird breeds throughout the year, although some experts narrow this down to between February and August. Only one egg is laid at a time, and the chicks leave the nest around the time that they are 8 weeks old. However, the mysterious nature of these birds does not allow more knowledge of their brooding habits.
Two subspecies of this bird have been recognised; they are, however, not vastly different from each other.