Family Tinamous (Tinamidae)

Least Concern

Red-winged Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens)


French: Tinamou isabelle German: Rotflügel-Pampahuhn Spanish: Tinamú alirrojo

Tinamus rufescens


, 1815,

São Paulo, Brazil


Commonly considered conspecific with R. maculicollis, but differs notably in voice, songs being  rather similar initially but ending very differently, and appearing less loud, perhaps because populations are less spread out and there is less need to call between distant ridges#R (allow 3); in ecology, with distributions largely discrete altitudinally, inhabiting lowland grasslands that are isolated by bands of unsuitable forest habitat from the upland grassy ridges preferred by R. maculicollis#R (1); and in plumage, males having  narrowly buff-scaled vs broadly buff-streaked crown, facial markings less broken up and spotty (ns[1]),  plain vs spotted neck and plain vs barred breast (3),  more restricted and more narrowly barred vs more broadly and extensively barred wing-coverts (1), and pale grey breast shading to darkish grey vent with vague bars on lower flanks vs uniformly cream underparts with dark bars from breast-sides to flanks(3). Distributional limits of races in Paraguay not well known#R. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. r. catingae Reiser, 1905 – C & NE Brazil (S Amazonas E to Maranhão and Bahia).
  • R. r. rufescens (Temminck, 1815) – extreme SE Peru (Pampas del Heath) through N Bolivia (Beni) to C, E & S Brazil (Mato Grosso E to Pernambuco and E Bahia, and S to Rio Grande do Sul) and S to E Paraguay (Oriente), NE Argentina (Misiones and probably Corrientes) and Uruguay.
  • R. r. pallescens Kothe, 1907 – WC Paraguay (Alto Chaco) and NE Argentina (Formosa S to Buenos Aires).
  • Descriptive notes

    39–42·5 cm; male 700–920 g, female 580–1040 g, one unsexed 1180 g. Large tinamou with long decurved bill, fulvous or buff neck and boldly patterned... read more


    Song far-carrying, a loud, modulated short whistle followed by a pause and then three mournful... read more


    Varies with altitude. In tropical lowlands, from sea‑level to c. 1000 m (locally higher), favours... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly animal matter in summer months, vegetable in winter (when insects scarce). Dietary items include seeds, fruits, shoots, roots,... read more


    Relatively little known. Timing probably varies throughout range; Aug–Jan in SE Brazil. Nest a slight depression scratched in ground... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II (nominate race and pallescens). Generally common, and locally abundant; rare in some places. In Brazil,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cabot, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Sharpe, C.J. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Red-winged Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens). 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 16 January 2019).