The Andean Tinamou, Nothoprocta pentlandii, is a member of the most ancient groups of bird families, the Tinamous. The species is commonly found in high altitude shrubland, in the Andes of South America.
Crypturellus is formed from three Latin or Greek words. kruptos meaning covered or hidden, oura meaning tail, and ellus meaning diminutive. Therefore Crypturellus means small hidden tail.
All Tinamou are from the family Tinamidae, and in the larger scheme are also Ratites. Unlike other Ratites, Tinamous can fly, although in general, they are not strong fliers. All ratites evolved from prehistoric flying birds, and Tinamous are the closest living relative of these birds. pentlandii is the Latin form of Pentland which commemorates the Irish traveller Joseph Barclay Pentland.
The Andean Tinamou has seven subspecies as follows:
- N. pentlandii pentlandii, the nominate race, occurs in the Andes of western Bolivia, northwestern Argentina, and extreme northern Chile.
- N. pentlandii ambigua occurs in the Andes of southern Ecuador and northwestern Peru.
- N. pentlandii oustaleti occurs on the west slope of the Andes in central and southern Peru.
- N. pentlandii niethammeri occurs in coastal central Peru.
- N. pentlandii fulvescens occurs in the Andes of southeastern Peru.
- N. pentlandii doeringi occurs in the Sierras de Córdoba in San Luis and Córdoba Provinces, Argentina.
- N. pentlandii mendozae occurs in theAndes of west central Argentina in Neuquén and Mendoza Provinces.
The Andean Tinamou is approximately 27 cm (11 in) in length. Its upper parts are greyish-brown to olive brown and barred with black and white. Its breast is grey and spotted with white or buff, its belly is buff or whitish and its crown is black, the sides of its head and throat are mottled grey, and its legs are yellow.
Range and habitat
The Andean Tinamou can be found in the Andes of Ecuador, northern Chile, Peru, Bolivia and northwestern Argentina.
It prefers subtropical and tropical shrubland at 800"?4,100 m (2,600"?13,000 ft) altitude.
The IUCN classifies the Andean Tinamou as Least Concern, with an occurrence range of 550,000 km2 (210,000 sq mi).