Family Potoos (Nyctibiidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Potoo (Nyctibius bracteatus)


French: Ibijau roux German: Tropfentagschläfer Spanish: Nictibio rufo

Nyctibius bracteatus


, 1846,

Bogotá, Colombia


Recent study suggested that this species differs from other Nyctibius in cranial morphology to such an extent that it should be placed in its own genus#R. Monotypic.


Known from scattered localities in E Venezuela#R, E Ecuador and E Peru to N Brazil and the Guianas#R#R; probably occurs throughout lowland Amazonia.

Descriptive notes

21–25 cm; 46–58 g. Smallest and atypically coloured potoo; overall deep orange-rufous coloration (perhaps paler on throat, undertail-coverts and undertail), with... read more


Song a soft, rapidly descending series of roughly 10–15 notes: “bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu...... read more


Occupies understorey and middle storey of primary and well-developed secondary lowland terra... read more

Food and feeding

Consumes flying insects of orders Coleoptera, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, ­Hymenoptera and Neuroptera. Forages like other potoos, with... read more


Three nests known, one from NC Brazil, occupied Sept to Dec, and two from French Guiana, nest with egg in Oct and nest with chick in Feb (i... read more


Presumed sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Very poorly known; perhaps locally distributed, and probably not common. Range subject to ongoing elucidation, with first records... read more

Recommended citation

Cohn-Haft, M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Rufous Potoo (Nyctibius bracteatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2018).