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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Long-tailed Potoo Nyctibius aethereus

Sulli Gibson
Version: 1.0 — Published November 14, 2014

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The song of Long-tailed Potoo is a soft, undulating waa-OO-uh or ra-OOH (with a higher second syllable in both cases; Cleere 1998; Cohn-Haft 1999). It is repeated once every roughly 7 seconds (but the rate clearly varies) and is mainly heard at night, especially on nights when there is plenty of moonlight (Cleere 1998).

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

Long-tailed Potoo also gives a distinctive series of owl-like hoots or woof notes (Cohn-Haft 1999; Erize et al. 2006).

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

The vocalizations of N. a. aethereus and N. a. longicaudatus apparently are very similar (Cohn-Haft 1999). The voice of N. a. chocoensis is unknown.

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Long-tailed Potoo can be found at Macaulay Library and at xeno-canto.

Nonvocal Sounds

None are described.

Recommended Citation

Gibson, S. (2014). Long-tailed Potoo (Nyctibius aethereus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.lotpot1.01