Family Tinamous (Tinamidae)

Least Concern

Undulated Tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus)


French: Tinamou vermiculé German: Wellentinamu Spanish: Tinamú ondeado

Tinamus undulatus


, 1815,



Sometimes considered closely related to C. cinnamomeus. Much variation within and between races; yapura distinctive, with rather plain plumage almost lacking in undulations; yapura and adspersus intergrade in region of upper R Purus#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. u. manapiare Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1952 – S Venezuela (upper R Ventuari, in Amazonas).
  • C. u. simplex (Salvadori, 1895) – Guyana and neighbouring NC Brazil (S to R Negro and N bank of Amazon).
  • C. u. yapura (Spix, 1825) – SE Colombia, E Ecuador and E Peru E to NW Brazil (E to R Negro and R Purus).
  • C. u. vermiculatus (Temminck, 1825) – E Brazil (S Maranhão and Piauí S to Paraná).
  • C. u. adspersus (Temminck, 1815) – C Brazil S of Amazon (from R Madeira E to R Tapajós).
  • C. u. undulatus (Temminck, 1815) – SE Peru (S Madre de Dios and Puno) S to N Argentina (Formosa and Chaco).
  • Descriptive notes

    28–32 cm; male 462–569 g, female c. 621 g. Medium-sized, with bill rather long and curved at tip. Nominate race may look capped: has sooty forehead and crown,... read more


    Distinctive 3-note melancholy “whoo, whu-whooo”, sometimes rising at end, repeated at... read more


    Tropical zone, mainly in forest, dry scrub, cerrado, savanna, islands of forest in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small fruits, seeds and insects, especially bugs (Hemiptera), Odonata, and adult and larval beetles (Coleoptera).


    Feb–May in Colombia. Clutch 4–5 eggs, pale pink, wine-pink or pale ash; incubation 17 days (in captivity).


    Presumably sedentary in general. Moves away from river islands during flooding, e.g. observed to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common in floodplain, várzea and gallery forest throughout Amazonia, where its easily-identifiable song is... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cabot, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Undulated Tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus). 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 20 January 2019).