Little Tinamou

Little Tinamou


Profile Little Tinamou
[Authority] Hermann, 1783 | [group] Tinamous | [order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Crypturellus soui | [UK] Little Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou soui

[Authority] Hermann, 1783 | [group] Tinamous | [order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Crypturellus soui | [UK] Little Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou soui | [DE] Brauntinamu | [ES] Tinamu Chico | [NL] Kleine Tinamoe | copyright picture

copyright: R. Garrigues

The Little or Pileated Tinamou is a dull-colored, stout, shortwinged, almost tailless, terrestrial bird about 22 cm in length. In both sexes the top of the head is slaty black and the sides of the head are sooty grey. The upper parts are rich seal-brown, becoming umber on the tail coverts. The chin and upper throat are whitish, the lower throat, sides of the neck, and upper chest are deep greyish brown. The more lower back plumage is greyish tawny. The bill is blackish, the eyes are brownish yellow, and the legs and feet are greenish yellow.

It is found amid the bushy growth at the edge of the woodland, in the impenetrable thickets that promptly take possession of resting fields, in neglected pastures, and in weedy plantations, including those of coffee, bananas, and cassava. Fields of sugarcane that have long been left uncleaned offer it particularly favorable conditions. In this dense, concealing growth the Little Tinamou walks over the ground in such secrecy that it is rarely seen except by one who hides in its habitat.

Nests are commonly observerd in Suriname, although behavior is not well documented as with most Tinamou.Found in both coastal region and the interior. It is hunted as a game bird, especially around towns, but has survived better than other game species. The great tinamou has various roles in native American folklore in Brazil, Colombia, and Panama.

Mostly berries, fruit and seeds, but also insects (ants) and invertebrates are eaten. Feeds by walking forest ground, taking fruits and seeds, especially of
the Lauraceae, Annonaceae, Myrtaceae, and Sapotaceae.

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from]

Breeds all year around. Nest is a small scrap under a thick bush or a the foot of a tree, sometimes lined with some leaves. Clutch size is 1 to 4 eggs (usually 2), incubated for about 19 days.

Sedentary in all of its range, but not well known. Forms small groups outside breeding season.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: cm
  3. spanwidth max.: cm
  4. size min.: 21 cm
  5. size max.: 24 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 16 days
  8. incubation max.: 20 days
  9. fledging min.: 0 days
  10. fledging max.: 20 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 1
  13. eggs max.: 3
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Little Tinamou status Least Concern


  1. Crypturellus soui inconspicuus
  2. c Peru to e Bolivia
  3. Crypturellus soui albigularis
  4. n and e Brazil
  5. Crypturellus soui nigriceps
  6. e Ecuador, ne Peru
  7. Crypturellus soui caquetae
  8. se Colombia
  9. Crypturellus soui harterti
  10. w Colombia, w Ecuador
  11. Crypturellus soui caucae
  12. nc Colombia
  13. Crypturellus soui andrei
  14. Trinidad, ne Venezuela
  15. Crypturellus soui soui
  16. e Colombia to ne Brazil
  17. Crypturellus soui mustelinus
  18. ne Colombia, nw Venezuela
  19. Crypturellus soui panamensis
  20. Panama
  21. Crypturellus soui poliocephalus
  22. Panama (Pacific Slope)
  23. Crypturellus soui capnodes
  24. nw Panama
  25. Crypturellus soui modestus
  26. Costa Rica, w Panama
  27. Crypturellus soui meserythrus
  28. s Mexico to se Nicaragua
  29. Crypturellus soui
  30. LA s Mexico to e Brazil
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