The Great Tinamou is a large tinamou of lowland forest from southern Mexico south through the Amazon basin. Like other tinamous, this species is usually detected by voice. Its quavering and mournful, yet powerful, song is given mostly at dawn and dusk and can carry some distance through the forest. Birds forage by walking quietly along the ground. When startled, they explode into the air and crash off through the forest, resembling "cannonballs with heads and wings". Individuals roost at night on a branch or vine above the ground, resting their weight on pads on the upper portion of the tarsi. The large size and powerful, quavering song of the Great Tinamou distinguish it from most sympatric lowland tinamous.