Learn to Recognize the Whistles of the Tinamous of the Rainforest in Ecuador.

Get familiar with Tinamou Songs and learn about the Diversity of Birds living in the Rainforest in Ecuador.

Tinamous are common terrestrial but shy and secretive birds. The word “tinamou” comes from the Galibi Pople. Traditionally regarded as the sister group of the flightless ratites (emus, ostriches, kiwis, and rheas). Tinamous roost in trees at night.

They are opportunistic and omnivorous feeders, consuming a wide variety of plant and animal food. They walk and run but will fly when they must.

Tinamous practice a complex breeding strategy. This entails the males practicing simultaneous polygyny and the females practicing successive polyandry.

Tinamous of the Rainforest in Ecuador first appear in the fossil record in the Miocene epoch at the same epoch apes also appeared.

In the Amazon Lowlands of Ecuador, during Our Birding Trips in the Rainforest, we have the chance to listen to most the following species of tinamous.

Tinamous of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Tinamous live in of the different forest formation of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Thanks to Tremarctos

Listen to Seven Species of Tinamous living in the Rainforest in Ecuador

They have clear, distinct, and sharp songs, designed to penetrate the many layers of the habitat that they frequent, serving a different purpose, linked to pairing, contact call, or territorial defense.

Some can be heard from several kilometers through the thick vegetation of the rain forest.

1.- Great Tinamou (Tinamus major)

Lives in the dense rainforest of both “terra firme” (non-flooded) and “várzea” (seasonally-flooded) types, up to 1,500 m. It has also been recorded in secondary forests.
It feeds on the forest floor, predominantly on berries, fruits and seeds, but will also take nuts and small animals such as insects, small mollusks and annelids.

2.- White-throated Tinamou (Tinamus guttatus)

Have chestnut-brown upperparts with blackish streaking on the lower back and small yellowish-white spots. It has paler underparts with wider, dark barring on flanks. With gray head and neck, with a white throat, brown eye, and brown bill. Body length 32 and 36 cm (13 and 14 in).

It eats fruit off the ground or low-lying bushes, as well as invertebrates, flower buds, tender leaves, seeds, and roots. The male incubates the eggs which may come from as many as four different females and then will raise them until they are ready to be on their own, usually two to three weeks.

3.- Cinereous Tinamou (Crypturellus cinereus)

Live in the várzea, their preferred habitat is thick, dark, and dense. They are abundant, within the upper Amazon.

They have a distinctive light-colored eye ring, with a bill has a dark upper mandible and a yellow lower mandible. lays two eggs, whose color varies from salmon to dark chocolate; the nest is merely a scrape in the ground, and nests can be found almost year-round across its range.

4.- Little Tinamou (Crypturellus soui)

Furtive, an almost tailless small bird, Favoring forest edge and dense secondary growth rather than forest interior. When disturbed runs rather than flies. Sometimes crosses quiet roads or trails, but tremulous whistles are often heard, especially early and late in the day. The plumage is dark brownish overall with grayer head and a whitish throat

5.- Undulated Tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus)

Is a ubiquitous species of river forest and second growth in the Amazon basin. feeds on small fruits, seeds, and insects and is considered fairly common throughout its range. Its distinctive three-note song often is among the first bird sounds one learns in Amazonia.

6.- Variegated Tinamou (Crypturellus variegatus)

The breeding behavior has been comparatively well studied. Males apparently outnumber females considerably, and as a result, the female is serially polyandrous, mating with up to four males, laying one egg per partner, which is then incubated by the male alone. As is typical of tinamous, the nest is a shallow, unlined depression on the ground. The single young leaves the nest on hatching and is tended by the male throughout.

7.- Bartlett’s Tinamou (Crypturellus bartletti)

It inhabits principally seasonally flooded areas and shrubby thickets. A poorly known Tinamou considered rare to uncommon over most of its distributional range. Virtually nothing has been published concerning its life history.