Red-legged Tinamou (Crypturellus erythropus)

Red-legged Tinamou

[order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Crypturellus erythropus | [authority] Pelzeln, 1863 | [UK] Red-legged Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou a pieds rouges | [DE] Rotfuss-Tinamu | [ES] Tinamou a pieds rouges | [NL] Roodpoottinamoe


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

Its upperparts are brownish and the grey chest contrasts clearly with the buff belly. The back and wings are barred, but this is faint (often barely visible) in the males. Additionally, the amount of barring to the upperparts varies among the subspecies. It is the only tinamou in its range with rosy-red legs.

Listen to the sound of Red-legged Tinamou

[audio: Tinamou.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 27 cm size max.: 32 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


South America : North


Dense undergrowth of tropical rainforest, with patches of Savannah and scattered trees. Prefers thick thorny vegatation, sometimes in grassland with sufficient bushes.


Not documented, breeds the first half year in Colombia.

Feeding habits

Not documented as of yet. Probably like other Tinamou berries, fruit, seeds and insects.


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.
Confined to the Upper North East region of South America the Red-Legged Tinamou is a very rare species, with only a few observations in Surinam. There are seven sub-species recognized, which of these are present in Surinam is unknown. Its secretive life style and the feact it only calls for half an hour at dusk and dawn makes it hard to observe. The red-legged tinamou
(Crypturellus erythropus margaritae) is a critically endangered bird species that is endemic to Venezuela.
Red-legged Tinamou status Least Concern


Sedentary in all of its range, but not well known.

Distribution map

Red-legged Tinamou distribution range map

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