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.
The Red-winged Tinamou has three subspecies:
- R. r. rufescens, the nominate race, occurs in southeastern Peru, Bolivia, eastern Paraguay southeastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina, and possibly Uruguay
- R. r. catingae occurs in central and northeastern Brazil
- R. r. pallescens occurs in northern Argentina; eastern Formosa, Chaco, Santa Fé, Córdoba, La Pampa, Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos, Corrientes, and Rio Negro
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. Also, the throat is whitish, the foreneck and breast are cinnamon. The curved bill is horn-coloured with a blackish culmen. Juveniles are duller.
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. Overall it prefers dry savanna.
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.
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.
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. It has an occurrence range of 5,700,000 km2 (2,200,000 sq mi).
- BirdLife International (2012). "Rhynchotus rufescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Brands, S. (2008)
- Clements, J (2007)
- Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)
- Remsen Jr., J. V. (2000)
- BirdLife International (2008)(a)
- BirdLife International (2008(a)). "Red-winged Tinamou - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 09 Feb 2009.
- Brands, Sheila (Aug 14 2008). "Systema Naturae 2000 / Classification, Rhynchotus rufescens". Project: The Taxonomicon. Retrieved Feb 09 2009.
- Clements, James (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World (6 ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9.
- Davies, S.J.J.F. (2003). "Tinamous". In Hutchins, Michael. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 8 Birds I Tinamous and Ratites to Hoatzins (2 ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. pp. 57–59, 64–65. ISBN 0-7876-5784-0.
- del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A., Sargatal, J., eds (1992) Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume One Ostritch to Ducks, ISBN 84-87334-10-5
- Remsen Jr., J. V.; et al. (04 Oct 2000). "Proposal to South American Checklist Committee (#2000-01):". South American Classification Committee. American Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 04 Feb 2009.
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