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Thicket Tinamou Crypturellus cinnamomeus

Vitor Gomes, R. Bribiesca-Formisano, Robert A. Behrstock, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Marîa del Coro Arizmendi
Version: 1.0 — Published March 7, 2014


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Distinguishing Characteristics

Tinamous are stocky, terrestrial birds with very short tails and rounded wings. Thicket Tinamou is a medium sized tinamou with a white throat and red tarsi. Most populations of this species are rather rich cinnamon brown on the neck and breast, with upperparts that are prominently barred with dark brown and buff to whitish. The subspecies of western Mexico (occidentalis) is grayer overall. In all populations the barring is more extensive on the upperparts of the female than of the male, but barring of the upperparts is particularly limited in male occidentalis.

Similar Species

Slaty-breasted Tinamou (Crypturellus boucardi) has a slaty black or dark brown head, is darker overall than Thicket Tinamou, and has a less contrasting pattern of barring on the upperparts. Great Tinamou (Tinamus major) is much larger, has grayish tarsis, and is much less patterned on the upperparts. Highland Tinamou (Nothocercus bonapartei) is larger, usually occurs at higher elevations, has tawny throat, dark sooty cap, and gray to olive tarsi. Little Tinamou (Crypturellus soui) is much smaller, has dull yellowish to olive tarsi, and is not barred above.

Detailed Description

The following description is based on Blake (1977); see also Geographic Variation:

Adult male: Crown dull brown to blackish, darker anteriorly. Sides of head, sides of neck, and nape rufous to dull reddish brown. Upper back to uppertail coverts reddish brown to brownish olive, evenly barred with black, the dark barring more prominent posteriorly. Wing coverts and inner remiges narrowly tipped and barred with buff or creamy white. Lower foreneck more or less tinged with gray, becoming cinnamon or rufous on the breast and sides. Belly paler, ochraceous to buff, the flanks and undertail coverts broadly barred with gray or black.

Adult female: Similar to adult male, but crown and foreneck cinnamon to rufous, often finely barred with black; dorsal barring more prominent and more extensive than in the male.


Little information. The juvenile plumage is retained for only a short time, but the innermost secondaries (tertials) are retained through the winter (Dickey and van Rossem 1938)

Bare Parts

Iris: grayish olive, hazel, brown

Bill: maxilla dull black; mandible orange flesh with dusky tomia, pale flesh, cream buff

Tarsi and toes: coral red, pink, salmon red

Bare parts color data from Dickey and van Rossem (1938), Blake (1977).


Total length: 25-30 cm (Blake 1977), 25,5-29 cm (Howell and Webb 1995), 28 cm (Stiles and Skutch 1989)

Linear measurements (from Blake 1977):


male (n = 5)

wing length: mean 157.8 mm (range 152-173 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 25 mm (range 23-27 mm)

female (n = 10)

wing length: mean 164.2 mm (range 157-170 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 25.4 mm (range 24-27 mm)


male (n = 10)

wing length: mean 163.4 mm (range 148-174 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 24.4 mm (range 22-26 mm)

female (n = 5)

wing length: mean 164.6 mm (range 153-175 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 25.2 mm (range 24-28 mm)


male (n = 10)

wing length: mean 168 mm (range 165-173 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 24.5 mm (range 23-26 mm)

female (n = 5)

wing length: mean 171.8 mm (range 167-177 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 26 mm (range 22-29 mm)


male (n = 9)

wing length: mean 164.7 mm (range 160-172 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 24.8 mm (range 23-27 mm)

female (n = 5)

wing length: mean 170.2 mm (range 168-172 mm)

bill length (exposed culmen): mean 25.6 mm (range 24-28 mm)


male, mean 422.2 g (range 402.4-448 g, n = 4; Paynter 1955, Russell 1964)

female, mean 421 g (range 401-445 g, n = 4; Van Tyne 1935, Paynter 1955)

Recommended Citation

Gomes, V., R. Bribiesca-Formisano, R. A. Behrstock, C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and M. d. C. Arizmendi (2014). Thicket Tinamou (Crypturellus cinnamomeus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.thitin1.01