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Little Tinamou

The Little Tinamou, Crypturellus soui, is located in Central America and South America..


Crypturellus is formed from three Latin or Greek words. kruptos meaning covered or hidden, oura meaning tail, and ellus meaning diminutive. Therefore Crypturellus means small hidden tail.


All tinamou are from the family Tinamidae, and in the larger scheme are also Palaeognathaes. Unlike the widely known flightless Palaeognathae, Ratites such as Ostriches and Emus, Tinamous can fly, although in general they are not strong fliers. All ratites evolved from prehistoric flying birds, and Tinamous are the closest living relative of these birds.


C. soui meserythrus occurs in southern Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and northern and eastern Nicaragua .

C. soui modestus occurs in Costa Rica and western Panama.

C. soui capnodes occurs in the lowlands of northwestern Panama.

C. soui poliocephalus occurs in Pacific coastal Panama; Veraguas, Herrera, Los Santos, Cocle, and western Panama Provinces.

C. soui caucae occurs in the Magdalena River valley of north central Colombia.

C. soui harterti occurs on the Pacific slope of Colombia and Ecuador.

C. soui mustelinus occurs in northeastern Colombia and extreme northwestern Venezuela.

C. soui caquetae occurs in southeastern Colombia; Meta Department, Caqueta, Vaupes, and Guaviare Departments.

C. soui nigriceps occurs in eastern Ecuador and northeastern Peru.

C. soui soui occurs in eastern Colombia, eastern and southern Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and northeastern Brazil.

C. soui albigularis occurs in eastern and northern Brazil.

C. soui inconspicuus occurs in northern Bolivia and central and eastern Peru.

C. soui andrei occurs in Trinidad and northern Venezuela; Falcon, Yaracuy, Carabobo, Aragua, Vargas, Miranda, northern Anzoategui, Sucre, Monagas States, and the Venezuelan Capital District

C. soui panamensis occurs on both coasts of Panama and the Pearl Islands of Panama (an ancient introduction).

Habitat and range

It is a resident breeder in tropical lowland forests, rivers-edge forests, lowland evergreen forest, secondary forest, and lowland shrublands at an altitude of . They also are fairly successful utilizing cleared forests and plantations or farmed land. The Little Tinamou is located throughout central and southern Central America and northern South America


The Little Tinamou is rarely seen in its dark, dense forests, walking away through the undergrowth. It can be located by its slow whistling calls , given by both sexes. It eats seeds, berries, and some insects.


The breeding season of the Little Tinamou ranges from May to October. Its nest is a small depression in forest floor, sometimes lined with a few leaves at the base of a tree or in dense brush. It usually lays two glossy dark purple coloured eggs, sometimes only one. The size of the egg is approximately . The eggs are incubated by male. The young are precocial, and can run almost as soon as they hatch.


The Little Tinamou is approximately long and weighs . This species is a shy, secretive and solitary Tinamou. Although it looks similar to other ground-dwelling birds like quail and grouse, it is completely unrelated to those groups. This is a dumpy bird recognised by its small size and lack of barring. It has an unbarred sooty-brown plumage, it si shaded to grey on the head and has a whitish throat. Its foreneck is brownish and it is cinnamon buff on its belly. The female has a brighter rufous brown on its under parts than the male. Its legs can be grey, olive, or yellow.


The IUCN list the Little Tinamou as Least Concern, with an occurrence range of .


Hilty, Birds of Venezuela, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5

External links

Little Tinamou videos, photos & sounds on the Internet Bird Collection

Little Tinamou photo gallery VIREO

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Little Tinamou

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