Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Like other tinamous, the red-winged tinamou spends most of its time on the ground, preferring to freeze or run rather than fly when threatened. The rounded wings are relatively small, and flight can only be kept up for a short distance (2) (4) (8). Reported to be most active in the heat of the day, the red-winged tinamou feeds on a wide variety of both plant and animal matter, including fruits, seeds, shoots, roots, tubers, insects, worms and even small vertebrates. The diet varies seasonally, comprising mainly animal matter in the summer and vegetable matter in the winter when insects are scarce. The long beak is used to scratch at the ground and sweep away soil to uncover food, and the red-winged tinamou may even jump almost a metre in the air to pick insects from vegetation (2) (4). The breeding season is thought to vary with location, occurring from August to January in Brazil. The nest is a slight depression in the ground, excavated with the feet and lined with grass (2) (4). Unusually for a bird, it is the male tinamou that incubates the eggs and cares for the chicks. After laying up to five wine red, reddish purple or sometimes white eggs in the nest, the female red-winged tinamou leaves, and is likely to mate with further males and lay further clutches in different nests (2) (4) (8). More than one female may lay eggs in a single nest, and the male red-winged tinamou incubates the eggs for around 19 to 21 days (2) (4). If leaving the nest for any period, the male may cover the eggs with feathers (4). Young red-winged tinamous have red and white down, with black streaking, but reach adult-like plumage within about three weeks (2).
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Description

With the typical compact, rounded tinamou body shape, the red-winged tinamou is distinguished by its relatively large size and reddish-brown edges to the wing (2) (3), which are clearly visible in flight and which lend this bird its common name (4). The upperparts and wings are greyish-brown, marked with black and buff spots and bars, while the underparts, neck and head are light greyish-brown to buffy or whitish, with a creamy white throat. The small head bears a dark patch behind the eye, and a black crown, edged in buff, with a crest that can be erected. Like other tinamous, the tail is only rudimentary, and the yellowish legs are quite stout. The red-winged tinamou has a particularly long and slightly down-curving beak. Males and females are similar in appearance, and juvenile red-winged tinamous resemble the adults (2) (3) (4) (5). Three subspecies of red-winged tinamou are recognised, based on differences in colouration and barring (2) (3) (4) (5). A distinctive highland race, previously considered a fourth subspecies, is now classed as a separate species, Rhynchotus maculicollis (6) (7).
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Distribution

Range

The red-winged tinamou occurs in southern South America, east of the Andes, in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina (2) (3) (5) (7). Rhynchotus rufescens rufescens is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, while R. r. catingae is restricted to central and northeastern Brazil, and R. r. pallescens to northern and central Argentina (2) (3) (4) (5).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Mainly inhabiting damp grassland and savanna woodland, the red-winged tinamou can be found at elevations of up to 2,500 metres or more (2) (3) (7).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).
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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

The red-winged tinamou has a large range and is still relatively common in most areas (2) (7). However, there is some evidence of population declines. The species is popular for its meat and is regularly hunted, often illegally, especially close to human settlements (2) (4). Habitat loss due to agricultural development, possible poisoning by insecticides, and the burning of grassland to regenerate pastures are also threats in some areas (2) (4). However, the destruction of tropical forests to make way for pastures has helped the red-winged tinamou to colonise new areas, and in some places it is even regarded as an agricultural pest (2) (4).
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Management

Conservation

Previously listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning international trade in the species was subject to careful monitoring, the red-winged tinamou was removed from this listing in 1995 (9), and there are now no known conservation measures in place for the species. However, the red-winged tinamou adapts well to captivity and is commonly kept in South American zoos (2) (4). The species is also of interest for commercial production for its meat (10) (11), though there is little information available on the potential impacts on wild populations, and attempts in the past to introduce this and other tinamous to Europe and the United States for hunting have been largely unsuccessful (2).
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Wikipedia

Red-winged Tinamou

The Red-winged Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens) is a medium-sized ground-living bird from central and eastern South America.[3]

Taxonomy[edit]

All Tinamou are from the family Tinamidae, and in the larger scheme are also Ratites. Unlike other Ratites, Tinamous can fly, although in general, they are not strong fliers. All ratites evolved from prehistoric flying birds, and Tinamous are the closest living relative of these birds.[4]

Coenraad Jacob Temminck first identified the Red-winged Tinamou from a specimen from São Paulo state, Brazil, in 1815.[4]

Subspecies[edit]

The Red-winged Tinamou has three subspecies:

Previously, the taxon maculicollis was considered a subspecies of the Red-winged Tinamou, but following SACC it is now considered a species in its own right; the Huayco Tinamou.[5]

Etymology[edit]

Its common name refers to the bright rufous primaries, which mainly are visible in flight.

Description[edit]

The Red-winged Tinamou is approximately 40–41 cm (15.7–16.1 in) in length, and weighs 830 g (29 oz), and the female may be slightly larger. It has a black crown, rufous primaries, and light gray to brown underneath. It may have black bars on flanks, abdomen and vent.[4] Also, the throat is whitish, the foreneck and breast are cinnamon. The curved bill is horn-coloured with a blackish culmen. Juveniles are duller.

Range[edit]

Its range is southeastern, northeastern and central Brazil, eastern Paraguay, southeastern Peru, Bolivia and eastern Argentina[3]

Habitat[edit]

At lower elevations (1,000 m (3,300 ft)), it favours marshy grasslands (seasonally flooded) and forest edges. While, at higher elevations, up to 2,500 m (8,200 ft), it will frequent arid shrubland, pastures, and grain fields.[4][6] Overall it prefers dry savanna.[6]

Behavior[edit]

The Red-winged Tinamou have vocal males that are a longs ringing single whistle followed by shorter sad whistles. The female does not call. This species is most active during the hottest parts of the day.[4]

Feeding[edit]

Its diet varies by season; it taking insects and other small animals (even small mammals) in the summer, and switching to vegetable matter, such as fruits, shoots, tubers and bulbs, in the winter. It can be an agricultural pest, feeding on cereals, rice and peanuts, as well as being predatory, taking poisonous snakes and even jumping up into the air to snatch an insect off a leaf.

Reproduction[edit]

The male of the species attracts the female by follow feeding and after the attraction will move to the nest where she lays her eggs that he will incubate only and then raise the chicks.[4]

Conservation[edit]

Like all tinamous, the Red-winged Tinamou is a popular target for hunters, and in areas of high human population density number have declined, but the species has also increased in some areas where forest clearance has created favourable habitat. Overall, it is not considered threatened and is therefore listed as Least Concern by IUCN.[1] It has an occurrence range of 5,700,000 km2 (2,200,000 sq mi).[6]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Rhynchotus rufescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Brands, S. (2008)
  3. ^ a b c d e Clements, J (2007)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)
  5. ^ Remsen Jr., J. V. (2000)
  6. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2008)

References[edit]

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