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Common Potoo with Nancy Rumbel

An uncommonly fine duet!

The Common Potoo is a nocturnal bird of Central and South America, known for its camouflage plumage and upright perching. Nancy Rumbel, who composed the theme music for BirdNote, improvises here with the call of the Common Potoo. Using the pentatonic scale of the potoo, Nancy responds with her ocarina. Be sure to listen to the longer version. And you can also catch a video of a potoo.

Full Transcript



Common Potoo with Nancy Rumbel

Featuring Nancy Rumbel
This is BirdNote.
[Call of the Common Potoo]
….the Common Potoo (pronounced POH-too), a nocturnal bird of tropical Central and South America…
[Call of the Common Potoo]
What does musician Nancy Rumbel, who composed the theme music for BirdNote, hear in the call of the Common Potoo? [Call of the Common Potoo]
Nancy: Well, I think birds are like natural musicians, so that when we hear their songs, immediately we do want to respond.
[Call of the Common Potoo]
Using the same pentatonic scale, she responds with her ocarina.
[Potoo and ocarina]
Here she adds piano.  [piano, Potoo, and ocarina]
Nancy: Often, I will make sketches before I will create a longer composition, so perhaps the Common Potoo song might someday develop itself into a longer piece of music.
[Full mix]
To hear more, come to
[one lonely last call of the Potoo.]
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by P.P. Kellogg
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Managing Producer: Jason Saul
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
© 2018 Tune In to   June 2018/2020   Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# potoowithnrumbel-01-2008-06-06  potoowithnrumbel-01b
Nancy Rumbel is part of the Grammy Award-winning duo Tingstad and Rumbel.

Sights & Sounds

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