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17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Great Tinamou For Kids

Great tinamou facts are all about the near-threatened bird of the order Tinamiformes

The great tinamou (Tinamus major) is a near threatened bird species that inhabit parts of South America. Their distribution range is from south of Mexico to the Amazon basin, through central Brazil, north Bolivia and West Ecuador. They have a large-sized, dark olive body that weighs about 1.5-2.7 lb (0.6-1.2 kg) with brownish plumage. Their throat and belly region exhibits white coloration with fascinating black strokes and grayish legs. Just like other species of tinamou, the great tinamou is known for its trembling voice. Their calls are unique as they appear to be somewhat mournful, yet dominating and are heard at dawn and dusk.

This tinamou is a sedentary bird and mostly dwells on the forest ground. They eat fruits, berries, nuts and seeds, but also prey on worms, insects, small frogs and lizards. These birds prefer the tropical rainforest regions. The females lay about three to six eggs that are incubated by males. Their eggs possess a vibrant turquoise coloration because of the presence of a natural pigment in them. Keep on reading to know more about this intriguing bird.

If you liked reading this article, then do check out the facts about burrowing owl and saker falcon.

Great Tinamou Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a great tinamou?

The great tinamou is a species of tinamou bird of the Tinamidae family.

What class of animal does a great tinamou belong to?

The great tinamou (Tinamus major) belongs to the class Aves and Tinamus genus.

How many great tinamou are there in the world?

There are about 12 subspecies of the great tinamou in the world. According to Partners in Flight, the current population is estimated to be in the range of around 500,000-4,999,999 individuals.

Where does a great tinamou live?

The great tinamou bird prefers tropical and subtropical rainforests with little or no chances of flood. They reside in undisturbed forest regions with large ground spaces which is ideal for them to roam about freely in search of food and water.

What is a great tinamou's habitat?

The great tinamou are endemic to South America. Their distribution range is from south of Mexico to the great Amazon basin, through central Brazil, north Bolivia and West Ecuador.

Who do great tinamou live with?

The tinamou bird species are solitary in nature, except while mating.

How long does a great tinamou live?

Though the exact lifespan of the great tinamou is unknown, other tinamou bird species are known to live for about 10-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The great tinamou (Tinamus major) reproduces by laying three to six eggs. The bright coloration of their eggs, which are greenish blue to turquoise, makes them a unique species of bird. Females lay these eggs in the nest which is a scrape on the ground and generally lined with dead leaves. The male birds incubate the eggs and also protects the nestlings after they hatch. The incubation period lasts for about 17 days. The chicks are able to walk almost immediately after hatching out. Their breeding season ranges from January to July and can even extend till September. The female birds of this species practice polyandry and can nest with more than five males in their breeding season. This characteristic feature of the female birds is attributed to the reason for their brightly colored eggs, which is thought to draw the male's attention to brood them, while the female can nest with other mates.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List has listed the species of great tinamou (Tinamus major) as a Near Threatened species. They have a large number of predators like vampire bats, jaguars and falcons that steal their colorful eggs, thereby decreasing their population trend to a great extent. Apart from this, large scale deforestation and poor agricultural practices by humans also contribute to their decreasing population.

Great Tinamou Fun Facts

What do great tinamou look like?

The great tinamou (Tinamus major) has a dark olive body with brown plumage. Their throat and belly region displays whitish-yellow hues with charming black strokes on their back. Their legs are grayish blue and they have black beady eyes. The range of the tinamou species is south America and they inhabit the tropical rainforests. These species resemble the flightless bird, Dinoris robustus, that are now extinct, in many aspects, one being their limited ability to fly. They forage on the forest ground and occasionally fly for short distances or flutter their wings when alarmed.

The great tinamou has a dark brown body with black beady eyes.

How cute are they?

These bird species of the Tinamus genus are quite cute due to their large-sized olive-brown body and powerful voice.

How do they communicate?

The olive-brown colored great tinamou communicate using their powerful voice, which sounds somewhat mournful and is heard at dawn and dusk. Other birds participate when the tinamou starts singing in its melodious voice. They are spotted due to this distinctive voice along with their large-sized body.

How big is a great tinamou?

The great tinamou is quite large and is about 15.7-18 in (39.8-45.7 cm) in length. They are way bigger than the Magellanic woodpeckers.

How fast can a great tinamou fly?

The tinamou species are poor flyers and are mostly ground dwellers. They are capable of flying only over very short distances and flutter their wings only when alarmed. Their exact speed has not been calculated.

How much does a great tinamou weigh?

The great tinamou (Tinamus major) weighs about 1.5-2.7 lb (0.6-1.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female birds of the tinamou species are not given any sex specific names.

What would you call a baby great tinamou?

A baby tinamou is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The tinamou majorly eats fruits, berries, nuts and seeds. They also prey on small insects like spiders, flies, worms as well as lizards and frogs.

Are they dangerous?

The great tinamou is not at all dangerous and does not cause any harm to humans. They are considered to be rather shy creatures.

Would they make a good pet?

The tinamou species are quite large birds and forage on the ground. They do not have the ability to perch and therefore, they would require large areas of natural forest ground in order to survive. Thus, they would make a good pet only when the necessary conditions of their habitat is met.

Did you know...

The tinamou bird species are known to display certain acts at the time of courtship. Females are seen to showcase their dark-colored plumage and flutter their wings. They are also spotted chasing each other on the grounds during their breeding season.

When they are frightened, these birds camouflage themselves within their surroundings by spreading their plumage like a fan and pressing their breast region. Often they become motionless on the ground when they are alarmed by other bird species.

Why are tinamou eggs colorful? 

The exact reason for the eggs being colorful is not known, but a natural pigment is present in these, which imparts the vibrant turquoise and greenish-blue colors. Another theory is attributed to these eggs being colorful, that is the polyandrous nature of the females. It is believed that the vibrantly colored eggs fascinate the males to brood them entirely, while the females can mate with other male birds after laying these eggs.

What is so unique about the tinamous bird?

The bright colored eggs and the compelling shrill voice makes the tinamous birds unique. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these hummingbird facts and dodo facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable owl coloring pages

Second image by TonyCastro.

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