Since potoos are nocturnal the wail is only heard at night, like that of the whippoorwill to which it is distantly related. Solitary and secretive, the bird itself is almost never seen. There is even a myth that says the call comes from a broken-hearted spirit who longs to return to its love, the moon. In fact, the potoo has earthly concerns like any other creature. Judging by its wide-eyed expression, it may have more of them than average.
Odd as they are, potoos are just one more example of the wealth of life in the tropics. And while they are currently not threatened or endangered, they still rely on habitat that’s in constant peril.
If you’d like to learn more about the tropics, the Rainforest Alliance (rainforest-alliance.org) is a good place to start.