Family Tinamous (Tinamidae)


Dwarf Tinamou (Taoniscus nanus)


French: Tinamou carapé German: Pfauensteißhuhn Spanish: Tinamú enano

Tinamus nanus


, 1815,

Misiones, Paraguay#R




Locally in C & SE Brazil (extreme SE Mato Grosso, and Goiás and Minas Gerais S to São Paulo); old isolated records from SC Paraguay (Misiones) and NE Argentina (Chaco/Formosa).

Descriptive notes

14·5–16 cm; c. 43 g. Smallest of the tinamous; looks very barred, ranging from reddish-brown to ochraceous grey‑brown, or a mix of both, in general coloration.... read more


High-pitched nasal trill, like that of a cricket (Orthoptera), followed by c. 6–10 “... read more


Secondary forest, savanna and cerrado; more common in pastures with short grass and... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Diet includes various arthropods, e.g. termites (Isoptera), and seeds, e.g. of grasses. Spends much time looking for small... read more


Little known. Season Sept–Oct. Downy chicks similar to those of Nothura. In captivity, built a small spherical nest of grass... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Status difficult to determine; a small bird and very difficult to see, even on paths or tracks and on burnt areas; apparently rare to uncommon and local. Thought... read more

Recommended citation

Cabot, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Dwarf Tinamou (Taoniscus nanus). 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 9 April 2020).