13 September 2010

Potoo training

Spent the day at the Natural History Museum at Tring studying potoo skins. I was particularly interested in a feature I observed in the field on a couple of Long-tailed Potoos at REGUA in Brazil back in May. Unfortunately I found that this feature is not well preserved on the skins due to the way they are stored (which might explain why field guide illustrations do not show it), however, after inspecting 102 specimens of six species (including 14 Long-tailed Potoo specimens of two subspecies) and a whole bunch of photos, I found enough evidence to back up my theory that the feature is unique to Long-tailed Potoo (more on this later). This is the first time I have visited the museum at Tring and it was fascinating pulling out trays containing little known species. I couldn't resist taking this potoo family portrait (click to enlarge)! There's one species missing - any idea which one?