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A Revealing New Look at the Secretive Black Tinamou


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Thanks to the persistence of a small group of researchers, one of South America’s least-known birds is finally coming to light in The Auk: Ornithological Advances. Pablo Negret of the Universidad de los Andes and his colleagues have just published the results of a year-long study of the Black Tinamou (Tinamus osgoodi hershkovitzi), including some of the first video and sound recordings of this elusive species, which is extremely difficult to observe due to its secretive habitats and cryptic coloration. Negret and his colleagues carried out daily censuses in Alto Fragua Indi Wasi National Park as well as setting up camera traps to capture images and video. Through their observations, they were able to determine that Black Tinamous likely breed in March and April (when their vocal activity peaks), are most active in late morning, and eat primarily fallen fruit and seeds. Black Tinamous live in an area where they are threatened by logging, cattle ranching, and hunting, and this study is an important step forward in gathering the information needed to effectively protect them. Read the paper at http://www.aoucospubs.org/doi/full/10.1642/AUK-14-116.1.

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