The Grey Tinamou (Tinamus tao) is a type of ground bird found throughout western and northern Brazil, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, [Colombia]] east of the Andes, northern Venezuela, northern Bolivia, and Guyana.
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.
This Tinamou has several subspecies:
T. tao larensis with a range in the montane forests of central Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.
T. tao kleei with a range of south-central Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, eastern Bolivia, and western Brazil.
T. tao septentrionalis with a range of northeastern Venezuela and possible northwestern Guyana.
T. tao tao with a range of north central Brazil, far eastern Peru, and far northwestern Bolivia.
In most of its range it is essentially restricted to humid lowland forests, but in the northern and far western parts of its range it mainly occurs in montane forests. This Tinamou has shown the ability to utilize forests that have been cleared by logging. As most other tinamous, its song is commonly heard, but it is shy and only infrequently seen.
With a total length of 46 cm (18 in) it is among the largest tinamous. As suggested by its name, it is overall grey. The back, head and crissum are barred blackish.
Like other Tinamous, the male incubated the eggs on the nest that is located in heavy brush on the ground. After incubation, the male will also raise them for the short period of time until they are ready. They eat fruit and seeds from the ground and bushes that are low to the ground.
This species has not shown population loss and is considered by the IUCN to be a Least Concern status, and has a range occurrence of 3,600,000 km2 (1,390,000 sq mi)