Red-legged tinamou

Red-legged tinamou

Red-legged tinamou, Red-footed tinamou

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Crypturellus erythropus

The red-legged tinamou or red-footed tinamou, (Crypturellus erythropus ) is a ground-dwelling bird found in the tropics and lower subtropics of northern South America.

Animal name origin

Crypturellus is formed from three Latin or Greek words/parts. kruptos meaning covered or hidden, oura meaning tail, and -ellus a Latin diminutive suffix. Therefore, Crypturellus means small hidden tail.


The red-legged tinamou is superficially similar to a quail to which it is not related as it, along with other tinamous, belongs in the Paleognathae. Its total length is 27 to 32 cm (11–13 in). Its brownish upper parts and 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.



The red-legged tinamou lives in Guyana, Suriname, Colombia, Venezuela and northeastern Brazil, and on Margarita Island. It may also be found in French Guiana. It is favored habitat is dry forest, although it can be found in moist forest and lower elevation shrubland and grasslands. It prefers elevations below 1,300 m (4,300 ft).

Red-legged tinamou habitat map
Red-legged tinamou habitat map
Red-legged tinamou
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Habits and Lifestyle

As other tinamous, it is recorded infrequently, except by its whistling voice. It has been recorded feeding on seeds, berries, snails, and insects. Little is known about its breeding behavior, but the glossy eggs are pale greyish-lavender with a variable amount of pink suffusion.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition



The red-legged tinamou is uncommon to locally common in most of its range, but the Magdalena tinamou is very rare (perhaps extinct), while the Colombian tinamou is endangered. In both cases the main problem is habitat destruction, but hunting is another issue. The IUCN lists this bird as Least Concern, with an occurrence range of 1,800,000 km2 (690,000 sq mi).


1. Red-legged tinamou Wikipedia article -
2. Red-legged tinamou on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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