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Scientific classification

The potoos are large near passerine birds related to the nightjars and frogmouths.

These are nocturnal insectivores which lack the bristles around the mouth found in the true nightjars. They hunt from a perch like a shrike or flycatcher. During the day the perch upright on tree stumps, and look like part of the stump. The single spotted egg is laid directly on the top of a stump.

There are five species in tropical South America.

The relationships with other species is as below:

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
    • Family: Steatornithidae: Oilbird
    • Family: Podargidae: frogmouths
    • Family: Nyctibiidae
      • Great Potoo, Nyctibius grandis
      • Long-tailed Potoo, Nyctibius aethereus
      • Lesser Potoo, Nyctibius griseus
      • White-winged Potoo, Nyctibius leucopterus
      • Rufous Potoo, Nyctibius bracteatus
    • Family: Aegothelidae: owlet-nightjars
    • Family: Caprimulgidae: nightjars

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