Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi)

Black Tinamou

[order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Tinamus osgoodi | [authority] Conover, 1949 | [UK] Black Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou noir | [DE] Schwarztinamu | [ES] Tinamu Negro | [NL] Zwarte Tinamoe


Monotypic species


Tinamous are paleognaths related to the flightless ratites. They are probably close in appearance to the flying ancestors of the ratites. Unlike other Ratites, Tinamous can fly, although in general, they are not strong fliers. Tinamous sleep on the ground at night. Exceptions are members of the genus Tinamus, which roost in trees, choosing horizontal branches or tangled lianas and perching without using the toes. This genus comprises the larger of the Tinamou species.

Physical charateristics

Large, blackish tinamou. All blackish except sooty belly and rufescent, barred black undertail. Voice Mournful, tremulous, descending whistle lasting about one second. Females are slightly larger. Sooty brown belly;
vent is chestnut with black speckling.

Listen to the sound of Black Tinamou

[audio: Tinamou.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 41 cm size max.: 45 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


South America : Southcentral Colombia, Southeast Peru. Known only from two restricted and widely separated localities?
the upper Magdalena valley in southern Colombia (subspecies
T. o. hershkovitzi) and the Marcapata valley in
southeastern Peru (T. o. osgoodi).


Humid, high-altitude tropical forest, 1500-2100m, where epiphytes, tree ferns, bromeliads, and moss abound. This is a poorly known species of premontane, humid forest, including “valley cloud-forest” (stunted, moss-enshrouded trees) in Madre de Dios, and may require primary forest. The northern subspecies is known from 1400-2100 m, whereas the nominate subspecies is generally found at 600-1400 m.


n Peru, breeding-condition specimens have been taken in March-November and a quarter-grown chick was collected in February. The only nest found was on the ground and contained two glossy blue eggs.

Feeding habits

Unknown but ne specimen had its stomach and crop full of nuts


This species qualifies as Vulnerable because of its small range, low number of known locations and suspected declines in range and population owing to habitat loss and hunting.
Tinamus osgoodi has been found in four areas separated by over 2000 km. Subspecies hershkovitzi occurs on the west slope of the East Andes, in Huila, Colombia, where its current status is unknown (last seen in 1976). Two birds, apparently belonging to this species, perhaps a new subspecies, were observed in the northern Central Andes of Antioquia, Colombia, in 1999. In 2000, a specimen was collected at San Jose de Fragua on the east slope of the East Andes8. The nominate form occurs on the east slope of the Andes in Cuzco, Puno and Madre de Dios, south-east Peru, where it has been described as common (at least until 1958), fairly common and uncommon at three known locations. A sizeable population may exist in Manu National Park, Madre de Dios and Cuzco. It has recently also been found in a fourth area, the isolated Cerros del Sira in Huanaco, central Peru, where at least five birds were seen and further individuals were heard during biological inventories in 2005-2006. A bird was recently reported from Shishicho, just north of Puerto Libre, Ecuador, near the border with Colombia.
Black Tinamou status Vulnerable


Sedentary in all of its range, but not well known

Distribution map

Black Tinamou distribution range map

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