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Nyctibius maculosus

Andean Potoo

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Nyctibiidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan

Nyctibius maculosus

Manu Road, Cuzco, Peru; 1 November 2009 © Kristian Svensson

A typical potoo, Andean Potoo is a large dark brown species, with white markings in the tail and wings; particularly prominenet is a large white panel in the wing coverts, which is buffish white in females. This is the truly highland representative of the genus Nyctibius, and should not be confused with any other species. The Andean Potoo occurs locally and perhaps discontinuously from westernmost Venezuela, through Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, just into western Bolivia. The species is an inhabitant of humid montane forests, from 1800 up to at least 2800 m, and easily is overlooked, like all potoos, when roosting. As a result of this and the species’ comparative rarity, very little is known concerning the ecology and behavior of the Andean Potoo.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan. 2012. Andean Potoo (Nyctibius maculosus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Sally
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:Undescribed
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern