Yellow-legged Tinamou (Crypturellus noctivagus)

Yellow-legged Tinamou

[order] TINAMIFORMES | [family] Tinamidae | [latin] Crypturellus noctivagus | [authority] Wied, 1820 | [UK] Yellow-legged Tinamou | [FR] Tinamou noctivague | [DE] Gelbfuss-Tinamu | [ES] Tinamu Patigualdo | [NL] Geelpoottinamoe


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 Yellow-legged Tinamou is approximately 28-31 cm in length. Its upperparts are grey, the lower back and wings barred black. The neck and upper breast is greyish, the lower breast is rufous and belly is whitish. It has a blackish cap and a buffy supercilium. The supercilium is broadest and most prominent in the race zabele, which also is paler overall, has a whiter (less rufescent) throat and brighter yellow legs than the nominate race.

Listen to the sound of Yellow-legged Tinamou

[audio: Tinamou.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 28 cm size max.: 31 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 17 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


South America : East Brazil


It occurs in caatinga and Atlantic forest, particularly remnant lowland forest from 0-300 m. It can apparently survive in degraded and secondary forest


Breeds in november in South Brazil. In captivity clutches of 4 eggs were observed which were incubated for 17 days..

Feeding habits

Omnivorous. Seeds, plants and insects, usually ants and beetles.

Video Yellow-legged Tinamou


copyright: Jose de Alencar Bonafe


This species is classified as Near Threatened as population declines are believed to approach the threshold for qualification as Vulnerable.
It suffers from widespread and continuing habitat destruction and hunting pressure throughout its range, but can survive in degraded and secondary forest
Yellow-legged Tinamou status Near Threatened


Sedentary in all of its range, but not well known

Distribution map

Yellow-legged Tinamou distribution range map

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