Little tinamou

Little tinamou
Crypturellus soui

Photo by João Quental (Wiki Aves)

Common name:
little tinamou (en); tururim (pt); tinamou soui (fr); tinamú chico (es); brauntinamu (de)

Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

This species is found from southern Mexico down to Bolivia and Brazil as far south as Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.

These birds are 20-24 cm long and weigh 170-250 g.

The little tinamou is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using moist tropical scrublands, second growths and plantations such as pines, coffee, bananas, cassava and sugarcane. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

They forage on the ground, taking seeds, berries, insects and occasionally frogs. The seeds taken include Panicum, Paspalum, Scleria, Amaranthus, a spurge, oxalis, mallow, grape, passionflower, Styrax, and Solanum. They are known to hunt cockroaches, ants, termites, beetles, bugs and caterpillars.

Little tinamous can breed all year round. The nest is a small scrap on the forest floor, usually under a thick scrub and sometimes lined with leaves. There the female lays 1-2 glossy purple eggs, which the male incubates alone for 16-20 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24 h of hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The little tinamou is suspected to lose 18-23% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Given its susceptibility to hunting and trapping, it is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

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