Family Tinamous (Tinamidae)

Least Concern

Highland Tinamou (Nothocercus bonapartei)


French: Tinamou de Bonaparte German: Bergtinamu Spanish: Tinamú serrano

Tinamus bonapartei

G. R. Gray

, 1867,

Aragua, Venezuela


Morphologically closest to N. nigrocapillus#R#R#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. b. frantzii (Lawrence, 1868) – Costa Rica and W Panama.
  • N. b. intercedens Salvadori, 1895 – W Andes of Colombia.
  • N. b. bonapartei (G. R. Gray, 1867) – C & E Andes of Colombia, Sierra de Perijá and Andes of N Venezuela (E to Lara, and in Coastal Cordillera to Distrito Federal).
  • N. b. discrepans Friedmann, 1947 – base of E Andes of Colombia (Tolima, Meta).
  • N. b. plumbeiceps Lönnberg & Rendahl, 1922 – Andes of E Ecuador S to extreme N Peru (Cajamarca).
  • Descriptive notes

    35–41 cm; 455–1050 g. Nominate race has head with dark sooty cap, this colour extending down hindneck to some extent, face and side of head dark grey, most of... read more


    Loud, deep, relatively harsh or nasal “caw-oh” or similar, repeated in series,... read more


    Locally distributed mostly in subtropical zone, also in tropical, from Amazonian rainforest up into... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet fallen fruits, also small animals. Solitary or in small groups.


    Season Mar–Jul in Costa Rica, Jan–Jun in Panama and Venezuela, and Feb–Nov in Colombia and Ecuador. Male often polygynous... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon to rare. Widespread but rare in Costa Rica, where much reduced by hunting; recently found to be very rare in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cabot, J., Jutglar, F., Sharpe, C.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Highland Tinamou (Nothocercus bonapartei). 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 29 February 2020).