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The baby shall stay safe: The Common Potoo leaves the daytime perch and protects its nestling from rainstorm

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... Aunque su biología reproductiva ha sido estudiada en varios países Neotropicales (Haverschmidt 1958, Skutch 1970, Tate 1994, Cohn-Haft 1999, Lopes & Anjos 2005, Mendonça et al. 2009, Corbo & Macarrão 2010, Cestari et al. 2011, Sazima 2011, aún se desconocen muchos aspectos relacionados con su comportamiento reproductivo. Hasta ahora el estudio más completo fue realizado por Skutch (1970) en Costa Rica, mientras que en Colombia la información existente es escasa y está restringida al registro fotográfico de un polluelo durante 36 días (Borrero 1970). ...
... La temporada reproductiva de N. griseus es poco conocida. Algunos autores afirman que se reproduce una sola vez al año (Cohn-Haft 1999), aunque la época del año durante la cual se reproduce parece no ser consistente (Haverschmidt 1958, Borrero 1970, Skutch 1970, Tate 1994, Cohn-Haft 1999, Lopes & Anjos 2005, Mendonça et al. 2009, Corbo & Macarrão 2010, Cestari et al. 2011, Sazima 2011. En nuestro estudio no se observó relación entre la reproducción y época del año, pues los eventos se registraron tanto en época lluviosa (n = 3 nidos) como seca (n = 1 nido), pero el número bajo de nidos registrados no nos permite realizar inferencias fuertes. ...
... Nuestros datos sobre el comportamiento de anidamiento de N. griseus muestra importantes semejanzas con lo registrado previamente para la especie y otras especies como el Bienparado Grande (N. grandis), especialmente en cuanto a nido, huevo y cuidado parental (Skutch 1970, Vanderwerf 1988, Cohn-Haft 1999, Lopes & Anjos 2005, Mendonça et al. 2009, Cestari et al. 2011, Sazima 2011. Sin embargo, la atención al nido por parte de los adultos fue mayor comparada con estudios previos (Skutch 1970) y los polluelos presentan una alta tasa de crecimiento, superior que la registrada para la especie S. caripensis (Ricklefs 1976). ...
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RESUMEN ∙ El Bienparado Común (Nyctibius griseus) habita desde el oeste de México hasta el norte de Argentina y Uruguay. A pesar de ser una especie común, la información existente sobre su historia natural es muy poca, especialmente sobre su comportamiento reproductivo. En este trabajo proveemos información detallada sobre su biología reproductiva basada en cuatro nidos monitoreados en Cali (Valle geográfico del Rio Cauca, Colombia). Los nidos eran concavidades en la parte superior de ramas truncadas, en cada una de las cuales se encontró un huevo blanco con manchas lila y marrón claro, distribuidas en toda la superficie. Durante la incubación, los padres permanecieron en el nido todo el día hasta las 18:34 ± 00:06 h (rango = 18:24–18:53 h), momento en el cual los adultos dejan desatendido el nido hasta el inicio de la sesión de incubación nocturna, la cual empezó a las 19:08 ± 00:07 h (rango = 19:00–19:15 h). El porcentaje de atención al nido fue de 95,03 ± 0,98% (n = 1 nido). El tiempo de permanencia del polluelo en el nido fue 46 días (n = 1 nido), con una tasa específica de crecimiento (K) de 0,124. La forma del nido, coloración del huevo y cuidado parental registrados aquí concuerdan con reportes previos para esta y otras especies del género. Sin embargo, la atención al nido y la tasa de crecimiento de los polluelos fueron mayores que la registrada en otros estudios. ABSTRACT ∙ Notes on the nesting of Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) in the valley of Rio Cauca (Cali, Colombia) Thee Common Potoo (N. griseus) is distributed from west Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay. Despite its wide distribution, information regarding its natural history is sparse, in particular concerning its nesting behavior. In this study, we present detailed breeding biology information based on four nests monitored in Cali, Colombia (Río Cauca valley). Nests were concavities on the top of truncated branches where one white egg with lilac and light brown speckles distributed over the entire surface was laid. Based on nest temperature loggers the parents incubated continuously through the day. The first foraging trip in the evening at 18:34 ± 00:06 h (range = 18:24–18:53 h) interrupted incubation until the start of the nocturnal incubation shift at 19:08 ± 00:07 h (range = 19:00–19:15 h). Nest attentiveness was 95.03 ± 0.98% (n = 1 nest). The nestling period lasted 46 days (n = 1 nest), and nestling growth rate (K) was 0.124. Nest shape, egg coloration, and parental care recorded in our study were consistent with previous reports for N. griseus and other species of the genus. However, nest attentiveness and growth rate of nestlings were higher compared with other studies.
... The family Nyctibiidae includes seven species of potoos found only in the Neotropics (Cohn-Haft 1999, Sazima 2011. Potoos are nocturnal birds that perch on living or dead broken trunks or branches during the day (Mendonc ßa et al. 2009) and hunt for flying insects at night (Cohn-Haft 1999). ...
... Although unable to see the egg, the nestling behavior of the Rufous Potoo in our study was similar to that reported for other species of potoos, including the Common Potoo (Skutch 1970, Cohn-Haft 1999, Mendonc ßa et al. 2009, Cestari et al. 2011, S anchez-Mart ınez and Yusti-Muñoz 2016, Longtailed Potoo (Pelletier et al. 2006), and Great Potoo (Vanderwerf 1988). Females in all of these species lay a single egg in shallow depressions on dead tree trunks, broken branches, or snags (Skutch 1970, Cohn-Haft 1999, Cestari et al. 2011, Sazima 2011 to which they add no nest material (Cestari et al. 2018). ...
... Our observations did not include the entire incubation period (17 recorded days), but the nestling period in our study took an estimated 54-56 d (the nestling was first observed on 27 August when it was apparently already a few days old), similar to that reported previously for Rufous Potoos (~2 mo; Ingels et al. 2008). Adult potoos usually stay with nestlings no longer than 25 d (Sazima 2011), perhaps because the size of the typical "nest" area is too small to accommodate both a nestling and a parent. In our study, the parent was no longer brooding for 24 h when the nestling was~18-20 d old. ...
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Five species of potoos occur in Ecuador, with Rufous Potoos (Nyctibius bracteatus) being one of the least known. We monitored a nest site of Rufous Potoos in a lowland forest in the Ecuadorian Amazon and provide information about the behavior of a nestling and one or more adults. Observations were conducted opportunistically from 10 August to 10 September 2018, and an infrared heat‐and‐motion activated camera was used to monitor the nest site from 11 September to 13 November 2018. We recorded 2006 10‐s videos of the nestling and/or adult(s) that we used to quantify behavior. The nestling spent most of its time perching (53%) and stretching (20.7%). Beginning when ~ 23 d old, the nestling began exercising its flight muscles and did so with increasing frequency over time. Adult behaviors included perching while brooding the nestling (55%), stretching (24%), flying (10.4%), and feeding the nestling (10.4%). The duration of the nestling period, ~ 2 mo, in our study was similar to that reported previously for this species. Our observations suggest that the breeding and nestling behavior of Rufous Potoos is similar to that of other Nyctibius species. However, additional studies are needed to better document the behavior of Rufous Potoos during the incubation period. Notas sobre la biología reproductiva del Nictibio Rufo ( Nyctibius bracteatus ) en bosque de tierras bajas ecuatoriano Cinco especies de Nictibios ocurren en el Ecuador, siendo el Nictibio Rufo (Nyctibius bracteatus) uno de los menos conocidos. Monitoreamos un nido de Nictibio Rufo en un bosque de tierras bajas en la Amazonía ecuatoriana y reportamos información acerca de comportamiento del polluelo y uno o más adultos. Se realizaron observaciones de manera oportunista desde 10 agosto hasta 10 septiembre 2018 y, se utilizó una cámara trampa desde 11 septiembre hasta 13 noviembre 2018 para monitoreo del nido. La cámara registró 2006 videos de 10‐seg del polluelo y/o adulto(s) que fueron usados para cuantificar comportamiento. El polluelo pasó la mayor parte del tiempo perchado en el árbol (53%) y estirándose (20.7%). A los ~ 23 días de edad, el polluelo comenzó a ejercitar los músculos de vuelo, incrementando en frecuencia con el tiempo. Los comportamientos de adultos incluyen perchado en el árbol mientras empolla (55%), estiramiento (24%), vuelo (10.4%) y alimentación del polluelo (10.4%). La duración de los períodos de crianza, 2 meses, en nuestro estudio fue similar a lo reportado anteriormente para la especie. Nuestras observaciones sugieren que la anidación y comportamiento del polluelo de Nictibio Rufo es similar a otras especies de Nyctibius. Sin embargo, estudios adicionales son necesarios para entender de mejor manera el comportamiento de Nictibios rufo durante el período de incubación.
... The nests reported in French Guiana were from October 1999, during the dry season, and January 2006, at the start of the rainy season (Ingels et al. 2008), whilst in Ecuador a nest was found in August, in the dry season (Vinueza-Hidalgo , a similar period to that we observed, as the adult was no longer present on the same branch during the day when the young was c.21 days old. Data on N. griseus suggest adults stay with the fledging for c.25 days after hatching (Cestari et al. 2011, Sazima 2011). If we consider the entire period from hatching to the young fledging, the Ecuadorian study evidenced a period of c.54-56 days (Vinueza-Hidalgo et al. 2019). ...
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From October 2002 to March 2003, we recorded two active nests of Nyctibius griseus on the campus of the Universidade Estadual de Londrina. Nests were 600 m distant from each other and were 4.5 m and 4.2 m in height. Only one egg (4.3 x 3.2 mm) was found at each nest. Both male and female adults contribute to egg incubation; one of them incubated throughout the day and the other mostly at night. Incubation took at least 29 days, and the nestling left the nest about 50 days after hatching.
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We recorded and quantified the nocturnal activity and parental care of a brooding Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) using an infrared camera in southeastern Brazil. Parents alternated care of the nestling and decreased their presence as the nestling grew. Nestling feeding on passing insects while sitting on the nest, movements on the nest, wing exercising, preening, and defecating were recorded primarily while it was alone. The frequency of begging calls per hour was higher when the nestling was accompanied by one of the parents. Nocturnal recordings of this species on the nest revealed behaviors that were not cited in past studies, including: feedings bouts on passing flies performed by the nestling and adults, nestling defecation, and nestling plumage maintenance. The well-known plus newly quantified behaviors of the Common Potoo reinforce their value to survival during the long nestling period.
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Theories summarize science, tell us what to measure when we test hypotheses, and help us study nature better. Nevertheless, organisms themselves embody genetics, development, morphology, physiology and behavior, and they are the units of populations, communities and ecosystems. Biologists seek to understand organisms, their diversification and environmental relationships--not theories and experiments per se--and discoveries of new organisms and new facts about organisms reset the research cycles of hypothesis testing that underlie conceptually progressive science. I argue here that recent disagreements about the fate of natural history are thus more apparent than real and should not distract us from addressing important issues. The conservation of biodiversity requires factual knowledge of particular organisms, yet we know little or nothing about most species, and organismal diversity is often poorly represented in biological education. Accordingly, I urge those who are especially concerned with teaching and conservation to seek increased financial and curricular support for descriptive natural history, which is so fundamental to many of the applied facets of biology.