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Slaty-breasted Tinamou

Crypturellus boucardi

The Slaty-breasted Tinamou, or Boucard's Tinamou, is a modestly sized bird, averaging 27 cm in length and tipping the scales at approximately 470 grams. Its plumage is a study in earth tones, with a back and head ranging from black to chestnut, brown wings, and a slaty grey breast. The throat is a stark white, while the remainder of the underparts are a grey-brown, adorned with darker barring on the flanks and undertail. The female is distinguished by barring on her wings. The legs of this species are a striking pink to bright red, and the bill presents a dark upper mandible contrasting with a yellow lower.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Slaty-breasted Tinamou, look for its slaty grey breast, the white throat, and the barred flanks and undertail. The legs are a notable identification feature, ranging from pink to bright red. The bill's two-toned coloration is also a helpful characteristic.

Habitat

This tinamou is a denizen of thick evergreen forests, showing a preference for areas with dense undergrowth. However, it can also adapt to forests with sparser undergrowth, secondary growth, and regenerating plantations. It thrives in moist environments.

Distribution

The Slaty-breasted Tinamou's range extends from the lowland moist forests along the Gulf of Mexico coast, starting from southern Veracruz and northern Oaxaca in Mexico, down through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and reaching into northern Costa Rica.

Behaviour

A creature of shyness and discretion, the Slaty-breasted Tinamou is seldom seen against the dark forest floor. Its vocalizations consist of a three-note call, lower in pitch than those of its tinamou cousins, and it can engage in calling sessions lasting up to five hours. This species is known to occasionally hybridize with the Thicket Tinamou.

Song & Calls

The call of the Slaty-breasted Tinamou is a distinctive three-note sequence, lower than that of other tinamous. These calls can be heard in extended periods, sometimes lasting several hours.

Breeding

In the breeding season, the male Slaty-breasted Tinamou becomes the center of attention for 2 to 4 females, each of which will lay eggs in a ground nest concealed within thick vegetation or nestled between the raised roots of a tree. The male takes on the responsibility of incubating the eggs and rearing the young, while the females may seek additional mates.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Slaty-breasted Tinamou includes a variety of fruits and seeds, supplemented by invertebrates such as ants and termites.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Slaty-breasted Tinamou as Vulnerable, with an estimated range of 330,000 km². While it is hunted for food, the population numbers appear to be stable for the time being.

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A photo of a Small-billed Tinamou (Crypturellus parvirostris)

Small-billed Tinamou

Crypturellus parvirostris
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