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Great Tinamou, Eerie Voice in the Jungle

A flightless bird strides across the jungle floor…
© Glenn Bartley View Large

The eerie sound of the Great Tinamou can be heard in the lowland jungle throughout much of Central and South America. Secretive — and almost impossible to see — Great Tinamous call early and late in the day. And their voices carry a long distance.

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Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

Great Tinamou - Eerie Voice in the Jungle

Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote.

[Great Tinamou song/call: https://www.xeno-canto.org/231236]

This eerie sound can be heard in the lowland jungle throughout much of Central and South America. It’s the voice of a Great Tinamou [pronounced TIN-uh-moo]. Secretive — and almost impossible to see — Great Tinamous call early and late in the day. And their voices carry a long distance.

[Great Tinamou song/call: https://www.xeno-canto.org/231236]

Forty-seven species of tinamous live in the American tropics. They are chunky birds, with strong legs and smallish heads. Their bodies resemble those of a quail or partridge, but they’re not related. Instead, tinamous’ closest known relatives are huge, extinct, flightless birds of New Zealand. 

Their short wings can get them off the ground for brief flights. But mostly, tinamous spend all their time on the ground, where they walk briskly and can even sprint for a short distance.

Tinamous eat plants, insects, worms, snails and small vertebrates like frogs. Males build and defend nests and tend the young, while females roam about and mate with several males. Their eggs are like highly polished jewels, ranging in color from brilliant red to yellow-green, purple, blue-green and black.

But it’s that voice that sets it apart…

[Great Tinamou song/call: https://www.xeno-canto.org/231236]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
                                                             ###
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Bird sounds courtesy of Xeno-Canto. Recorded by P. Boesman.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote   March 2020   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#  tinamou-01-2020-03-27    tinamou-01

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