Great Tinamou (Tinamus major)

Great Tinamou

Great Tinamou

The Great Tinamou (Tinamus major) is a ground-dwelling bird occurring in Central and South America. The species inhabits the understory of tropical and subtropical forests. The well camouflaged birds are very secretive and difficult to spot, but if you are lucky you might see them cross paths through the jungle as happened to me on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, in March 2014. Interestingly, the birds live in a form of polyandry where a female mates and starts nests with several males. After laying eggs, the female leaves the breeding to the male which cares for the eggs and fledglings until they are able to live on their own. Apart from the mating season, the birds live solitary feeding on seeds, fruits, and small animals such as insects, spiders, frogs etc. Although they resemble chicken, the tinamous are actually close relatives to ostriches, emus, and cassowaries.

4 responses to “Great Tinamou (Tinamus major)

  1. Oh wow, I can’t believe you captured a photo so clear and beautiful of this bird! They are SO DIFFICULT to see, let alone photograph. I love the clear and plaintive sounds of the tinamou echoing through the forest. Great post.

    • thank you! I must admit, I didn’t know a lot about Central American birds before I came to Panama – and I surely didn’t know the Tinamou… so when we did the hike through Barro Colorado Island, I was not aware that it was quite special to see this bird! The Tinamou was just crossing our path a few metres away from us… and I was even more amazed that the photograph came out so well, since in the original resolution you see every small detail of the feathers… so now I am even more happy, of course…
      thanks for your comment and have a great day!! 🙂

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