A woman in Colombia got quite a scare when what she thought was a stick opened its eyes and mouth. The strange creature turns out it was a rare, nocturnal bird known as the Great Potoo and is also called the Urutaú Nictibian or Ghost Bird. The bird is also known for its ghostly, haunting call.
The videographer from Chibolo, Magdalena, wrote:
“The first time I saw him I thought it was a stick, but he moved and I approached him. The bird opened eyes and mouth and scared me a lot, but being so strange I decided to take pictures and record videos. When I got closer I raised my hand, and he opened his mouth in reply. I’ve been to that farm about five times, neighbors in the sector say they’ve heard it before, but whoever saw [it] was more than 15 years ago.”
The bird commonly spends the daytime on the end of branches or snags, where its brown-gray splotches camouflage it well. The ghost bird hunts insects at night and its habitat is usually along the edges of the forests, river banks and areas with scattered trees throughout Central and South America.
The birds are from the family Nyctibiidae and are a group of Caprimulgiformes birds related to the nightjars and frogmouths. And after seeing it open its mouth, we can see why!
Below is a video of the Great Potoo’s strange bird call.