Brown Tinamou (Crypturellus obsoletus)

Brown Tinamou

[order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Crypturellus obsoletus | [authority] Temminck, 1815 | [UK] Brown Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou brun | [DE] Kastanientinamu | [ES] Tinamu Cafe, Tataupa Rojizo (Arg), Tataupa Grande | [NL] Bruine Tinamoe


Monotypic species


The tinamous of the genus Crypturellus are usually notoriously difficult to see. Most species of this family are polygamous, with the smaller males performing the domestic tasks and the eggs are beautifully coloured. Tinamous exhibit exclusive male parental care. This type of care is rarely found in birds and only in tinamous is present in all species of the order. In polygynandrous species, males accumulate eggs from several females in at least two different ways: in some species females form stable groups and cooperate to lay the clutch for a male, sometimes even laying replacement clutches together. In other species, multiple females lay eggs in a nest, but they
do not form associations or travel together before or after being attracted by the male.

Physical charateristics

The Brown Tinamou is not vermiculated like other large tinamous, it is instead plain reddish-clay on the underparts, with chocolate-brown upperparts, and a plain gray head.

Listen to the sound of Brown Tinamou

[audio: Tinamou.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 25 cm size max.: 30 cm
incubation min.: 18 days incubation max.: 20 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 5  


South America : Widespread


The Brown Tinamou is reclusive, walking slowly on the floor of dark, tall humid evergreen forest.


4-5 Deep pink to dark glossy brown eggs on the ground at the foot of a tree.

Feeding habits

Fruit,seeds and small insects. Follows ant amries to catch escaping insects. Also noticed to leave toos for prey.

Video Brown Tinamou


copyright: ivokindel68


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The Brown Tinamou is a large tinamou of foothills in tropical South America, with various discjunct populations. This species is seen rarely, but can be heard easily, giving its loud, ringing “soccer referee whistle” song.
Brown Tinamou status Least Concern


Sedentary in all of its range, but not well known

Distribution map

Brown Tinamou distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *