What are you looking at? Some trees, some leaves, a few branches and... a bird. You see, on top of that broken tree branch actually stands a completely still bird, the common potoo. It's hiding in plain sight and will stay that way even if predators are deathly close to them.


The common potoo stands so incredibly still it's hard to believe the bird is even alive. But the one you see above is well and is actually protecting her little chick hidden in the tree branch (you can see the little baby bird practicing its posture too). When it detects a predator nearby, it shoots its beak high up, squints its striking yellow eyes and stays completely straight. It's awesome to see. Jonny Tropics, the guy who posted this video, explains:

Potoos squint their eyes in order to not expose their bright yellow irises and give the game away while keeping track of potential predators. Fortunately for them, potoos have an amazing, subtle adaptation — slight notches in the eyelids, which are presumed to enable them to see even when their eyes are apparently closed.


It's hard to tell where the bird ends and where the broken branch begins.

Illustration for article titled This tree branch is actually a camouflaged bird standing really still

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