Ornate tinamou

Ornate tinamou
Nothoprocta ornata
Photo by Silvia Vitale (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
ornate tinamou (en); tinamú-serrano (pt); tinamou orné (fr); inambú serrano (es); Pisaccasteißhuhn (de)

Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

This species is found in the Andes of of central and southern Peru, western Bolivia, north-western Argentina and northern Chile.

These birds are 26-32 cm long and weigh 440-760 g.

The ornate tinamou is mostly found in high altitude grasslands, scrublands and arable land, at altitudes of 2.500-4.800 m.

They are omnivorous, feeding on clovers and other small leaves, buds, blossoms, fruits, berries, roots, pods, seeds, and sprouting seeds, but also taking beetles and caterpillars as well as grasshoppers and ants.

Ornate tinamous breed in December-August. Unlike other tinamous they are monogamous. They nest on the ground, in a substantial structure made of circularly wrapped grass and resting on a foundation of dry earth or a mixture of earth and mossy turf. The female lays 4-9 glossy violet-chocolate colour eggs, which the male incubates alone for 22-24 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24h of hatching and readily follow the father around while foraging by themselves.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The ornate tinamou is thought to be the most heavily persecuted species in the Andes and is heavily hunted throughout its range. Eggs are also taken by local people and predation by dogs can occur, but it is not considered threatened at present.

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