Elegant crested tinamou (Eudromia elegans)
|Name:||Elegant crested tinamou|
|Scientific Name:||Eudromia elegans|
|Habitat:||Arid and semi-arid grassland, dry savanna, open woodland, steppes, sandy areas|
|Length:||15.5 in (39 cm)|
|Width:||24–26 oz (675–750 g)|
|Nesting:||Hollow in ground, often next to low bush|
|IUCN Conservation Status:|
One of more than 40 species of tinamous found in Central and South America, this ground-dwelling bird is distinguished by its slender, upturned crest. Like other tinamous, it resembles a gamebird (p.23), with short, strong legs, a broad body, and a relatively small head. Tinamous can fly, although some only weakly. This species is more likely to hide in case of approaching danger, taking to the air on whirring wings only as a last resort.
The elegant crested tinamou feeds on plants and insects. It is largely a solitary bird, except after the breeding season, when it is sometimes seen in family groups, which may coalesce to form small flocks. The breeding system is unusual, because either sex may have several mates. The nest is a simple scrape in the ground, near a low bush, and the male incubates the eggs. These have a glossy sheen—a characteristic that all tinamou eggs share.