Grey Tinamou (Tinamus tao)

Grey Tinamou

[order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Tinamus tao | [authority] Temminck, 1815 | [UK] Grey Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou tao | [DE] Tao | [ES] Tinamu Tao | [NL] Grijze 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

As suggested by its name, it is overall grey. The back, head and crissum are barred blackish

Listen to the sound of Grey Tinamou

[audio: Tinamou.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 42 cm size max.: 47 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 9  


South America : Amazonia. The Grey Tinamou (Tinamus tao) is a type of ground bird found throughout most of the Amazon south of the Amazon river, with more localized populations along the east Andean slopes, northern Colombia, northern Venezuela, and Guyana.


In most of its range it is essentially restricted to humid lowland forests, but in the northern and far western parts of its range it mainly occurs in highlands.


Nest is a slight depression at foot of tree or in between roots. Clutch 2-9 incubated by the male.

Feeding habits

Mainly fruit, also insects and seeds. Sometimes eats invertebrates.

Video Grey Tinamou


copyright: Jose de Alencar Bonafe


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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.
It is the largest Tinamou species and can weigh up to 2.5 kg
Grey Tinamou status Least Concern


Sedentary in all of its range, but not well known

Distribution map

Grey Tinamou distribution range map

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