These are nocturnal insectivores which lack the bristles around the mouth found in the true nightjars. They hunt from a perch like a shrike or flycatcher. During the day they perch upright on tree stumps, and look like part of the stump. The single spotted egg is laid directly on the top of a stump.
There are five species in tropical South America.
The relationships with other species is as below:
- Order: Caprimulgiformes
- Family: Steatornithidae: Oilbird
- Family: Podargidae: frogmouths
- Family: Nyctibiidae
- Great Potoo, Nyctibius grandis
- Long-tailed Potoo, Nyctibius aethereus
- Lesser Potoo, Nyctibius griseus
- White-winged Potoo, Nyctibius leucopterus
- Rufous Potoo, Nyctibius bracteatus
- Family: Aegothelidae: owlet-nightjars
- Family: Caprimulgidae: nightjars