The Tinamou’s Mysterious Song

18"x24" pastel and graphite on Rives BFK; the trunk of an elderly cecropia, with serendipitous tinamou.
18"x24" pastel and graphite on Rives BFK; the trunk of an elderly cecropia, with serendipitous tinamou.

There’s nothing like a singing tinamou to remind you that you are in a tropical rainforest; the crepuscular (love that word!) song is a quavering paean to love and the forest itself. Considering the singer looks something like a fluffy chicken and the mystery deepens. I recorded a great tinamou this morning at dawn while strolling down a BCI path, through tangles of vines and understory beneath tall canopy giants in which a troupe of white-faced capuchins roved and leaped from branch to branch.

Yesterday’s drawing is nearly completed and includes the tinamou, which wandered into the scene and was rendered accordingly.

Closeup detail of great tinamou.
Closeup detail of great tinamou.

7 thoughts on “The Tinamou’s Mysterious Song

  1. TR says:

    Wow you are on fire! I can’t believe what your accomplishing in such a short time. I wish I was there! Love that tinamou.

  2. Dale says:

    I can’t thank you enough for both the ID and the RECORDING! That was nice. Transporting. I saw a Tinamou in Costa Rica and one of the cooks tried to ID it for me, but in Spanish and I couldn’t retain it. Then she said it was kind of “pollo”.

    what did you use to record the sound? I wanted so much to find a little recorder to take along, but gave up. Then my husband said I could probably buy a jungle sounds CD. Clueless. 🙂

  3. zeladoniac says:

    It’s the elderly cecropia that’s the key: you don’t get tinamous with the young ‘un cecropias.

    Dale: the cook was doing the i.d.? Stands to reason you’d get pollo out of it. The recorder I’m using is wonderful. It’s an Olympus with stereo mics and only about the size of a cell phone. Solid state so no motor sounds or tape hiss. I’ll post the make and model tomorrow, but it records at higher-than-cd-quality and is just amazing. A boon for birders.

  4. Jo says:

    Wow. WOW. Effin’ wow?
    Where’s the high-res version? I’d like to plaster my bedroom walls with it and play a loop of tinamou calls.

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