Sunday, November 22, 2015

Great Potoo (Grand Ibijau) in Costa Rica

6 February 2011

     While travelling through the Alajuela region of Costa Rica, our driver braked suddenly and backed up. His incredibly sharp eyes had spotted a Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis roosting in a tree.

     This bird is difficult to locate when searching diligently for it, so to have located it incidentally like this is quite remarkable. 

     Even if the driver knew that the species had been seen in the area previously it is till quite a feat to relocate it. This bird is so cryptic, and is able to remain totally motionless, that it resembles nothing so much as a branch of the tree in which it is perched.

     It was a distinct highlight for us to see this species, our first ever, and we were able to capture it photographically to relive the experience again and again.  On a cold winter's day in Canada it is very pleasant to look at the pictures and remember the hot, sultry day when we found this bird.
David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. It is a cool bird, great photos. I loved birding in Costa Rica, it is awesome. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  2. Never seen one,would love to,and Costa Rica is on our list.
    Great captures David,you did well to nailing this one.
    Can I go Birding with you.

  3. What a special bird is David, awesome pictures.
    Greetings Tinie

  4. What an amazing bird, David. Super captures! Your driver certainly earned his keep. I can see why you'll be returning there. John's comment reminds me that I missed an opportunity!

    Best wishes to you and Miriam - - - Richard

  5. I have experienced such a thing in the third world where guides are either supremely blessed by the eyesight of Superman or have prior knowledge and experience. I suspect it is a little of both, but I guess you are familiar with the saying "eyes like a sh#t house rat"?

    "Great Potoo" is a great name. Enjoy you week David.

  6. Costa Rica... quelle chance.
    Tu as finalement trouvé ce bel oiseau. il est extraordinaire. La persévérance et la chance :)

  7. It is a pleasurable experience to be able to recapture times like this when looking back on photos, especially when experiencing temperature extremes outside!

  8. Oh wow this is realy a special bird David. And indeed that driver is a great obsurver. Great captures indeed.

  9. Nice pictures of this incredible bird. Perfect camouflage.. Regards..

  10. Que pájaro más espectacular, como se parece al Chotacabras europeo (Caprimulgus europaeus), me encantan estas aves. Muy bonitas las fotos David, un abrazo desde España.

  11. A very special bird, David, you made some wonderful pictures.
    I had to google to find out some more about the species, because I had no idea.
    Gr Jan W.

  12. I'm still waiting to see the local Nightjar species....................

  13. Dearest David,
    Oh, I can imagine how you felt when the driver did back up for this feathered treasure.
    You indeed captured it beautiful and I love the photos where it is scratching itself with its spread out toes.
    Indeed, in the comfort of our living rooms it is a blessing for being able to relive fond moments from summer at an exotic location!
    Stay warm and cozy and thanks so much for sharing this 'first' introduction to me.

  14. What a great bird - the eyes of some of these guides are remarkable!

    Lord Howe is a bit of a 'if only' location, so I feel very lucky to have been there! The abundance of some of the birds was breath taking! SM

  15. Hello David,
    What an extra-ordinary sighting indeed, your photos are quite remarkable considering you shot it in the wild!!
    Sincere congratulations!
    Costa Rica, hey?? Soon again and without me.... Makes me blue!
    But who knows, later maybe :)
    Much love to you and Miriam

    1. Just seven weeks from now we will be back there again. I would have loved it had you been able to make the trip with us.....but as you say, maybe later!

  16. Goeie genade zeg! Wat een joekel van een vogel!
    Ik heb nog nooit van deze vogel gehoord. Ik vind hem prachtig om te zien,.
    Wat een geluk dat jij deze vogel wel zag zeg!
    Prachtige foto's en dank je om dit te delen.
    Groetjes, Helma


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