24 January 2007
Potoos - one stump next to another
Here's another Birds in Art post... an interesting comparison this time. Flipping through the 1994 catalog, I came across this first piece by John P. O'Neill, Long-tailed Potoo. It is reminiscent of a Fuertes painting of the Common Potoo from the Mexico expedition of 1910. I am curious whether O'Neill's piece was influenced at all by Fuertes. O'Neill paints the Potoo in a more typical, deeply restful state with the eye mostly closed. Fuertes chose the more alarming - open-eyed look, more often seen near dusk when the species is readying to head out in search of nocturnal prey. The Potoo's - Family Nyctibiidae are a curious group of birds. I've sometimes described them as a cross between a hawk and an owl. Very secretive and cryptic by day, Potoo's often roost on a broken snag, adopting a distictive head-up resting posture which renders the bird nearly invisible.