Choco Tinamou

Central America


Crypturellus kerriae


  • Vast areas of seemingly suitable habitat remain, but road construction, human settlement, timber extraction and mining are causing gradual reductions.
  • The recent completion of a new road-bridge has made unprotected areas of coastal plain forest adjacent to Ensenada de Utría National Park accessible to settlement and associated threats.

The Choco tinamou or Chocó tinamou (Crypturellus kerriae) is a type of tinamou found in lowland forest and montane forest in subtropical and tropical regions of Colombia and Panama. The Choco tinamou is approximately 25 to 26.5 cm (9.8–10.4 in) in length. It is a small, plain dark tinamou. Its upperparts are dark brown, with blackish crown, slate-grey sides of neck, whitish throat and indistinct dusky barring. Its legs are red. The females are darker with coarser barring on wing-coverts and breast, and grey flanks.

It has a low, faint, mournful, three-note whistle voice. Like other tinamous, the Choco tinamou eats fruit off the ground or low-lying bushes. They also eat small amounts of invertebrates, flower buds, tender leaves, seeds, and roots. The male incubates the eggs which may come from as many as 4 different females, and then will raise them until they are ready to be on their own, usually 2–3 weeks. The nest is located on the ground in dense brush or between raised root buttresses.

This species is found in northwestern Chocó Department Colombia, and southern Darién Department Panama. The Choco tinamou resides in tropical and sub-tropical moist evergreen forests both lowland and montane up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) altitude. However, it seems that it prefers higher elevations.