Bird O'clock

Birds of the Tropics: Uncovering the Fascinating World of the Bartlett’s Tinamou

The Bartlett’s Tinamou, also known as Crypturellus bartletti, is a secretive bird species native to Colombia and Ecuador. Despite being quite common, they are not often seen due to their elusive nature and preference for dense underbrush.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the identification, plumages, and molts of the Bartlett’s Tinamou.


Field Identification:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou is a small, chicken-like bird that measures around 22-24cm in length.

They have a brownish-black plumage with a distinctive white throat patch and reddish-brown undertail feathers. They also have a pale yellow bill and legs, and dark eyes.

In terms of behavior, they are often heard calling in the early morning and late afternoon, but are rarely seen outside of their preferred habitats. Similar Species:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou is easily confused with its close relatives, the Small-billed and Pale-browed Tinamous, which share a similar appearance and habitat preferences.

However, the Bartlett’s Tinamou has a more pronounced white throat patch, while the Small-billed Tinamous have a black-and-white striped throat and the Pale-browed Tinamous have a white eyebrow stripe. Plumages:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou has two distinct plumages: the adult and juvenile.

In the adult plumage, the Bartlett’s Tinamou has a brownish-black top with a white throat patch and a reddish-brown undertail. They also have a pale yellow bill and legs, and dark eyes.

In contrast, the juvenile plumage is much duller, with a blackish-brown back and head and a plain chestnut breast. The throat patch is absent in juveniles, and the bill and legs are a pinkish-yellow color.


The Bartlett’s Tinamou molts twice a year: once in the fall and once in the spring. During the fall molt, adult birds replace their feathers to prepare for the winter period.

However, during the spring molt, both adults and juveniles molt their feathers before the breeding season begins. This is known as the prenuptial molt, and it allows the birds to look their best and attract mates.

Closing Statement:

Though the Bartlett’s Tinamou may be small and unassuming, it is an important species that helps to maintain the balance of its ecosystem. As we continue to learn more about these elusive birds, we will better understand their role in the environment and how we can best conserve their habitat for future generations.

The Bartlett’s Tinamou, also known as the Crypturellus bartletti, is a bird species found in Colombia and Ecuador. While the Bartlett Tinamou may be a small bird, it holds a significant place in the ecological system of these geographic locations.

In this article, we will explore the Systematics History, Geographic Variation, Subspecies, and Related Species of the Bartlett’s Tinamou. Systematics History:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou was first recognized as a unique species in 1953 by Charles G.

Sibley and Burt L. Monroe, Jr. However, there was intense debate and revision regarding the classification of this species in the subsequent decades.

Geographic Variation:

Researchers have recognized geographic variation throughout the range of the Bartlett Tinamou. Geographic variation is a process in which members of the same species look different in different locations due to a variation in environmental factors.

Different colors, size, or behavior between populations or individuals are some changes that can occur. In the Bartlett’s Tinamou, these include differences in plumage and size across its geographic range.


The Bartlett’s Tinamou has three recognized subspecies:

Crypturellus bartletti bartletti

Crypturellus bartletti scriveneri

Crypturellus bartletti peruvianus

The Crypturellus bartletti bartletti are only found in the West Andean foothills of Colombia and correspond with the lowest elevational range. The Crypturellus bartletti scriveneri resides in the East Andean foothills and adjoining lowlands of Colombia, and northern Ecuador.

The Crypturellus bartletti peruvianus, on the other hand, lives in the tropical evergreen forests found in the Northwestern region of Peru. Related Species:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou belongs to the family of Tinamidae, as do over 45 different species of tinamous.

Other species in the Crypturellus are known as the Small-billed and Pale-browed Tinamous which are close relatives of the Bartlett’s Tinamou. These species have a similar appearance, habitat, and vocalizations.

Historical Changes to Distribution:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou was fairly widespread throughout Colombia and Ecuador before the arrival of Europeans to these areas. The initial European contact led to enormous habitat destruction, often to make way for agriculture and infrastructure.

This caused significant habitat fragmentation, thus, resulting to changes in geographic distribution for the bird. Historically, the Bartlett’s Tinamou was found in the following locations: the Pacific lowlands, the Western Cordillera’s lower slopes, and the Eastern Andes of Colombia, as well as the adjacent regions of northern Ecuador.

A reduction in suitable habitat has caused a reduction in the bird’s distribution over time. While the bird still maintains a reasonably broad range, the general decrease in available habitats throughout the region remains a substantial concern for its population’s future status.

Furthermore, deforestation, loss of woodland habitats, and other agricultural processes have caused significant environmental damage in the regions where the Crypturellus bartletti resides. While their current population status is known to be stable, continuous deforestation or unsustainable farming practices could have a significant impact on their future survival.


The Bartlett’s Tinamou, a bird species native to Colombia and Ecuador, provides an excellent example of the dynamic nature of geographic variation. This variety throughout the Bartlett’s Tinamou’s distribution helps to ensure that its populations continue to survive and thrive in their unique environments.

However, as with many bird species around the globe, the Bartlett’s Tinamou faces significant environmental threats. Habitat destruction and other human activities could have a significant impact on their future survival.

Governments, conservation groups, and individuals all have an important role to play in ensuring the ongoing conservation and preservation of this extraordinary bird species. The Bartlett’s Tinamou, also known as Crypturellus bartletti, is a small bird species that can be found in the dense underbrush of tropical forests in Colombia and Ecuador.

The species is an important member of these environments, providing ecological balances to several intricate habitats. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Habitat, Movements, and Migration patterns of the Bartlett’s Tinamou.


The Bartlett’s Tinamou typically inhabits dense underbrush within tropical forests. They are frequently seen in the understory around subtropical and tropical wet forests where they often forage on the ground for seeds, insects, and other small invertebrates.

They can also occupy areas along the forest edge and secondary growth, along with the bamboo forests. The specific habitat of this species is of paramount importance because of the fragmented nature of the species’ distribution.

Habitat degradation is anticipated to have a negative impact on this species and other bird species that share similar habitats. Movements:

The Bartlett’s Tinamou is considered a non-migratory bird species; meaning that it tends to remain in the same area throughout the year.

Nonetheless, they might undergo movements as a response to specific ecological factors. For example, during the rainy seasons, these species congregate in preferred areas where food and shelter sources are abundant, and this is believed to be triggered by an increase in the availability of insects.

The birds are known to form pairs and establish territories every year before the commencement of the breeding season. Hence, their movements are often restricted within a given territory; they engage in short distance movements which encompass activities such as foraging, courtship displays, and nesting.


Studies conducted on the Bartlett’s Tinamou suggest that they are non-migratory birds, and they remain in the same area throughout the year. However, local movements have been observed as a response to external factors such as food availability and predatory threats.

The Bartlett’s Tinamou’s limited capacity for migration might make it vulnerable to prolonged periods of habitat degradation. Still, it is rational to assume that established breeding territory and year-round availability of food sources lessens the pressures for seasonal movements to take place.

Apart from the issues of habitat degradation and fragmentation, other potential threats to the bird species include wildfire, both natural and anthropogenic in origin, and overhunting, especially in areas where they are still actively hunted for food. In conclusion, the Bartlett’s Tinamou is a crucial member of the tropical forests in Colombia and Ecuador.

Given their restricted range, conservation efforts to protect their critical habitats are paramount. The species remains at risk of impacts from habitat degradation and other external threats, and there remains limited data collected that would allow us to understand better the year-round movements and needs of this bird species.

The more we can learn about the Bartlett’s Tinamou, the better chance we have of protecting it from threats and ensuring its presence for future generations. The Bartlett’s Tinamou, Crypturellus bartletti, is a small bird species related to the tinamou family and is native to the tropical forests of Colombia and Ecuador.

In this article, we will cover the bird’s dietary habits and foraging behavior, along with its vocalization and sounds. Diet and Foraging:


The Bartlett’s Tinamou is primarily a granivorous bird, which means it relies on seeds as its primary source of nutrition.

However, the bird’s diet is not limited to only seeds; it may also consume fruits, insects, larvae, and various other invertebrates during certain parts of the year when the former may be less available. Diet:

The bird’s feeding habits can vary seasonally, depending on the availability of food sources in their territory.

During the dry season, the bird can often be seen eating seeds and fruits that have fallen to the forest floor. The Bartlett’s Tinamou also consumes insects, larvae, and other invertebrates, particularly during the wet season.

The bird’s diet its pivotal towards its ability to maintain a healthy metabolic rate essential for its survival in the tropical forest. A balanced diet of fruits and seeds, through a healthy metabolism and temperature regulation, allows the Bartlett’s Tinamou to remain a versatile and active bird species in its feeding behaviors.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation:

Metabolic rates and temperature regulation are essential for the Bartlett’s Tinamou’s survival in the tropical rainforests. The species has a unique digestive tract where food is digested rapidly and efficiently.

This is due to their efficient metabolism, which allows them to convert food into energy with less waste.

The bird’s efficient metabolism plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy body temperature in the bird, allowing it to thrive in tropical environments despite ambient temperatures.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior:


The Bartlett’s Tinamou has a variety of calls that are specific to different situations, such as territorial defense or courtship. The bird has a distinctive call that is often heard in the early morning and late afternoon, a series of whistling notes that descending in pitch and volume.

This descending series of whistles is indicative of an adult male calling out to a female, as this behavior functions as a courtship display. The Bartlett’s Tinamou uses its unique vocalization in different ways to communicate specific messages to other birds, thus establishing territorial boundaries or directing attention to potential mates.

Moreover, bird species like the Bartlett’s Tinamou require an effective communication system to maintain cohesion within groups and alert themselves to possible threats. The bird’s variety of calls and songs are utilized for these purposes; the calls function as territorial markers while the songs serve as courtship displays.


The Bartlett’s Tinamou is an integral and widespread bird species that inhabits tropical forests in Colombia and Ecuador. Despite its small size, the Bartlett’s Tinamou’s feeding behavior, vocalizations, and metabolic rate enable it to thrive in challenging tropical environments.

This bird’s diet varies seasonally, with a particular reliance on fruits and seeds from the forest floor during the dry season. The bird relies on efficient metabolic rates and temperature regulation to convert food into energy, allowing it to survive in different temperatures.

In addition to feeding behavior, the Bartlett’s Tinamou’s vocalization plays a vital role in communicating mood and information to other birds. The species has a repertoire of various distinctive calls and songs that are used for specific social interactions, including mating rituals and territory establishment.

Overall, better understanding the Bartlett’s Tinamou’s feeding behavior and vocalizations provides valuable insight into the dynamics and ecological relationships within tropical forests. Conservation of this species is imperative to protecting the fragile ecosystem in which it dwells, as well as its many coexisting species.

The Bartlett’s Tinamou, Crypturellus bartletti, is a bird species endemic to Colombia and Ecuador’s tropical forests. In this article, we will explore the behavior of the species, including locomotion, self-maintenance, agonistic, and sexual behavior.

Additionally, we will discuss breeding, demography, and population trends for the species. Behavior:


The Bartlett’s Tinamou has strong and sturdy legs that allow it to move around on the ground very effectively.

These birds tend to move on their legs, walk around with their heads scanning around to locate an ideal feeding spot. Self-Maintenance:

The bird engages in self-maintenance such as preening its feathers to keep them in good condition with oil, wax, and dust.

They do so to remove dirt and parasites and also protect themselves from harsh climatic conditions. The bird’s bill is used to scratch and dust-bathe to eliminate harmful organisms caused by parasites within the bird and its environment.

Agonistic Behavior:

Agonistic behaviors are used by birds to establish social hierarchies, determine territories, and establish dominance among members of the same species. Bartlett’s Tinamou participates in agonistic behavior such as aggressive calls, territorial displays, and even physical confrontations in competition for food or finding a mate.

Sexual Behavior:

During the breeding season, Bartlett’s Tinamou’s engage in specific behaviors such as courtship displays and nesting. When courting a mate, Bartlett’s Tinamou males produce whistling sounds to attract females.

The winning male puffs out his feathering, raises the feathers on the forepart of the body, nods head, and expands throat feathers to execute a visually dynamic courtship display.


The breeding season for Bartlett’s Tinamou begins when the rains come, and food sources become abundant.

The breeding season is typically between February and May, and they breed in early stages of the wet season. During this period, both the male and female collaborate to build their self-made nests, using leaves and other natural materials that can provide sufficient shelter to fit at most a dozen eggs.

The female bird lays a few eggs, typically 2-5, in these well-camouflaged nests hidden in the foliage. After laying the eggs, the male bird helps in the incubation process, and after 17-21 days, the eggs hatch, and the parents watch over the chicks, teaching them foraging, alarm calls, and adaptive behaviors to survive in the environment.

Demography and Population:

The current population status of the Bartlett’s Tinamou is largely stable. While it is estimated that there are a large number of Bartlett’s Tinamous remaining within the bird’s range, the bird’s population status remains uncertain.

Habitat destruction and hunting pose significant threats to the species, particularly in regions where traditional hunting and agricultural practices are still prevalent. The bird’s distribution range can also impact the species’ population dynamics as its movement is limited in specific areas of the ecosystem.

Furthermore, limited data range and the difficulty of surveying these elusive birds, make it challenging to estimate a precise population size and trend for their species. Thus, researchers and conservationists must work together to gather data, maintain active conservation practices and ensure the preservation of their habitats, in the hopes of preventing any potential threats to the species and guaranteeing the growth of their local population.


The Bartlett’s Tinamou, Crypturellus bartletti, spends most of its life in the dense underbrush of Colombia and Ecuador’s tropical forests and has unique behaviors that enable it to survive in its unique habitats while contributing to their ecological functions. From locomotion to self-maintenance, agonistic behaviors to sexual practices, breeding to population dynamics, understanding the behaviors of birds like the Bartlett’s Tinamou is integral in conserving the species and protecting the broader ecological community they are a part of.

The Bartlett’s Tinamou, Crypturellus bartletti, is a small bird species that is an important member of the tropical forests of Colombia and Ecuador. These forests are unique habitats that require a delicate balance of species to maintain their ecological

Popular Posts