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Dwarf Tinamou Taoniscus nanus

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The sole member of the genus Taoniscus, the Dwarf Tinamou is now very rare, being categorized as Vulnerable by BirdLife International, on account of the species’ preferred habitat—native grassland, especially campo sujo—having been lost at a catastrophic rate to agricultural development in recent decades. This tinamou is endemic to the Cerrado biome, where it is effectively confined to south-east and central Brazil; although three old specimens are available from Paraguay and Argentina, the Dwarf Tinamou has not been recorded in either country recently. This is a plump but tiny and short-legged tinamou, with mainly pale buffy-brown plumage. The female is more boldly marked and darker than the male, with a whiter belly. Among similar species, the Lesser Nothura (Nothura minor) is larger, with a longer neck, and more heavily barred plumage. Better knowledge of the Dwarf Tinamou’s voice, which is a high-pitched and nasal, cricket-like trill followed by several peet notes, might lead to more records of the species becoming available, despite its unquestioned rarity.

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Recommended Citation

Dwarf Tinamou (Taoniscus nanus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/dwatin1