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Gray Tinamou Tinamus tao


Widespread, principally in lowlands, to 1900 m, from northern Venezuela and northern Colombia, south to Amazonian Brazil and Bolivia, this large tinamou is one of the better known representatives of the genus Tinamus. Gray Tinamou is generally rather common, except in areas subject to significant hunting pressure, and inhabits extensive tropical and subtropical forests, as well as occurring more locally in gallery forests within savanna areas. Like all tinamous, Gray Tinamou is much more frequently heard than seen. Both sexes sing, giving a short single-noted hooting note, which is repeated several times, sometimes for up to several minutes at a time. Its dietary preferences are not well known, but seeds, fruits, insects, and snails have all been recorded in stomach contents. Nests are typically placed within the buttress roots of large trees, and clutch size is typically three eggs, although nests containing up to nine eggs have been recorded. Both sexes incubate, and the male Gray Tinamou covers the eggs with leaves when departing the nest.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Gray Tinamou (Tinamus tao), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: