One never really knows what will turn up on a stroll on the Brown Trail. Starting by the Conservation Centre the Brown links with the Yellow Trail that circles the Wetland.
The Brown Trail winds through reforested areas with a lot of immature forest, but the birds don’t mind this at all. At the back of the trail, there are naturally regenerated forests where you see some great birds such as the White bibbed Antbird. Recently some windy weather brought down branches on to the Trail and at 2000 metres, and Igor one of REGUA’s Bird Guides had to scramble over some of them.
To his surprise a bird flew up that was sitting virtually on the ground, it perched on a branch just two metres above the path. To his amazement he saw it was a Long-tailed Potoo. To see this species previously our Guides had taken guests up a distant trail in the Matumbo gap requiring serious exertion.
Long-tailed Potoo is known as “Mother of the moon” in Portuguese and though craved for, they are rarely seen. Their call is feared at night for they make a sound like a person shouting “Raaauuulll” which can be terrifying if you don’t know what it is. Though they have a wide wingspan they are not often seen in flight but according to renowned Brazilian ornithologist Helmut Sick, they can often be found perched close to ground level having gorged themselves on large insects such as moths – as with Igor’s sighting.
In spite of their distribution there appears to be an Atlantic Forest species which is endangered so they may soon be split from their Amazonian counterpart.
Igor was able to take many photos and was delighted at this rare opportunity to see this gorgeous bird.