Woman hears a ghostly call and gets spooked by rare “demon bird”

July 20th, 2021

Have you ever come across something so bizarre on a hike that you’ve just had to get your camera out?

Maybe you’ve seen a few strange insects in your time, but unusual birds are less likely to be hanging out in the path of a human.

Take the Great Potoo, for instance, a nocturnal bird that’s nicknamed the Ghost Bird.

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Flickr - Don Henise Source: Flickr - Don Henise

This well-camouflaged bird has similar features to an owl. Great Potoos are most commonly found roosting on a horizontal limb in the daytime, but it’s at night when they’re really active, hunting for large insects.

They’re best known for their call, which is a bit like a harsh, crackly descending scream.

Some people think the Great Potoo’s call sounds a bit like a teenage boy moodily shouting “Mo-om!” Click here to listen for yourself.

With the Great Potoo being so rare, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see one in real life.

So when one woman in Colombia came across a Great Potoo casually sitting on a fence post, she mistook it for a section of wood.

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ViralHog/ YouTube Source: ViralHog/ YouTube

It was only when she saw the bird move that she realized it was a living thing.

With its wide beak, it looks more like a hand puppet than a real bird. There’s also something a bit
Pokémon about it – does anyone else see it?

The woman spotted the bird in Chibolo, Magdalena, and shared a video of her sighting online.

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ViralHog/ YouTube Source: ViralHog/ YouTube

In the caption, she wrote:

“The bird opened its eyes and mouth and scared me a lot, but being so strange I decided to take pictures and record videos.”

She added that the farm she was visiting wasn’t new to her, but the strange bird that had taken up residence there certainly was.

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ViralHog/ YouTube Source: ViralHog/ YouTube

Apparently, when the woman had approached the Great Potoo and raised her hand, the bird opened his beak and made a strange noise.

Though the neighbors and residents of the farm heard the Potoo’s call often, the last sighting was 15 years ago.

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ViralHog/ YouTube Source: ViralHog/ YouTube

It might look like a cartoon character, but the Great Potoo is a bird species not to be messed with. With their large beaks, these birds often feed on bats when they’re bored of their diet of insects.

You’re most likely to find a Great Potoo at the edge of riverbanks, forests, and other areas with pockets of trees in Central and South America.

One of the most defining features of this bird species is its large eyes.

Interestingly, the Great Potoo’s eyes have slits that can sense the movement of approaching predators even when they’re closed.

When it’s not pretending to be a tree stump, the Great Potoo is most likely to be hunting.

What would you do if you came across such an unusual creature?

The woman was spooked by her sighting, but you can’t deny there’s something pretty cute about these birds.

Watch the Great Potoo in action in the video below!

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Source: ViralHog/ YouTube, Science Focus, ebird