Family Tinamous (Tinamidae)

Least Concern

Brown Tinamou (Crypturellus obsoletus)


French: Tinamou brun German: Kastanientinamu Spanish: Tinamú café
Other common names: Traylor's Tinamou (traylori)

Tinamus obsoletus


, 1815,

São Paulo, Brazil


Taxonomic status and limits of several races unclear: race traylori may be a distinct species#R; populations of ochraceiventris noted to occur at different elevations on N & S banks of R Unine (NC Peru) and respectively to give different songs and calls#R; race hypochraceus known from few specimens, apparently differing from griseiventris only in overall size and toe length, perhaps not reliably diagnosable#R; further study required. Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. o. castaneus (P. L. Sclater, 1858) – EC Colombia S to E Ecuador and N Peru (San Martín).
  • C. o. ochraceiventris (Stolzmann, 1926) – C Peru (Huánuco to Cuzco).
  • C. o. traylori Blake, 1961 – SE Peru (middle Marcapata Valley of Cuzco).
  • C. o. punensis (C. Chubb, 1917) – SE Peru (Puno) to N & C Bolivia (La Paz to W Santa Cruz).
  • C. o. cerviniventris (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1873) – N Venezuela (mountains in Falcón, NW Lara, Aragua and Distrito Federal).
  • C. o. knoxi Phelps, Jr, 1976 – Andean slopes in NW Venezuela.
  • C. o. griseiventris (Salvadori, 1895) – NC Brazil (S of Amazon, around lower R Tapajós).
  • C. o. hypochraceus (Miranda-Ribeiro, 1938) – SW Brazil (upper R Madeira, R Ji-Paraná and R Jamari).
  • C. o. obsoletus (Temminck, 1815) – E Brazil (Bahia S to Rio Grande do Sul) to E Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones), and E Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–30 cm; male 358–482 g, female 395–548 g. Medium-sized and rather unpatterned except for rear underparts. Male nominate race has head and hindneck... read more


    Loud short trills in long series, gradually rising in pitch; also a low trilled note followed by... read more


    Tropical forest in E of range; in W mostly in subtropical cloudforest at 1300–2200 m, but up... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet generally little known; known to consume seeds (those of families Lauraceae, Euphorbiaceae and Rutaceae recorded as eaten. Follows... read more


    Sept–Nov in SE Brazil and Oct in SE Peru. Nest at base of tree. Clutch 4–5 eggs, deep pink to dark reddish or chocolate-brown (... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). An uncommon, local and infrequently encountered tinamou. Possibly extinct in Colombia, uncommon in Venezuela, rare in Ecuador, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cabot, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Brown Tinamou (Crypturellus obsoletus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 August 2019).