“Did a new muppet drop?” You might be asking when you first see this fluffy, big-eyed bird. The comparison seems even more apt as it starts to open its gaping, sock puppet-like mouth but then it emits a haunting, eerie cry that sounds like what some people report as bigfoot shrieks and others might describe as similar to a banshee.
This bonkers-looking bird is actually known as the great potoo, and while it looks similarly to an owl it is more closely related to nightjars and frogmouths. They’re even sometimes called poor-me-ones for their chilling screeches. They typically range from Mexico to South America but can survive in humid to semi-humid forested habitats that supply a steady diet of large insects and small vertebrates for them to eat.
Sometimes the first step in cryptozoology is knowing what weird creatures are already known to be out there so they can be ruled out when on the hunt for the unknown or unproven. For those still convinced they are hearing the cries of a bigfoot around their home and not this fascinating bird, it is suggested to search for evidence in areas from which the unexplained sounds were originating. Things such as hair samples, fecal droppings, and footprints are all helpful when seeking to identify a creature roaming your woods. If you find feathers, consider if a great potoo has taken up residence in your neighborhood.