Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui

  • Order: Tinamiformes
  • Family: Tinamidae
  • Polytypic: 14 subspecies
  • Authors: Tshering Dema L, Marîa Félix Ramos-Ordoñez, R. Bribiesca-Formisano, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Marîa del Coro Arizmendi

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The song is a tremulous whistle, given singly or in series. Descriptions of the song include: "single whistles, and the 1st of a series, tend to swell then fade, successive whistles rise slightly, and a series often intensifies overall, ending abruptly: wheeee-eeer, wheeeeer, wheeeeer..., etc." (Howell and Webb 1995); "There are two main calls, one a series of clear tremulous whistles, each higher in pitch than the preceding, increasing in volume and rapidity and ending abruptly; the other ... sliding up about a half tone, then down about a full tone" (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989); and "song, crespuscular, a series of quavering whistles rising in pitch and accelerating in pace. Daytime call a single quavering note rising and then quickly dropping in pitch: heeEE'E'u'u'u'u'u'u" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2007).

The vocalizations of Little Tinamou are similar to those of Great Tinamou (Tinamus major), but are higher pitched and less resonant.

Nonvocal Sounds

When flushed, may take flight with a strong burst of wing beats that makes a loud whirring sound (Skutch 1963).

Recommended Citation

Dema L, T., M. F. Ramos-Ordoñez, R. Bribiesca-Formisano, C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and M. d. C. Arizmendi (2011). Little Tinamou (Crypturellus soui), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.