Hooded Tinamou Nothocercus nigrocapillus


Justification of Red List category

This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The population is thought to number around 200,000 mature individuals (Santini et al. 2019); to account for uncertainty in the estimate the species is here placed in the band 100,000-499,999 mature individuals. In Peru, the species is described as 'fairly common' (Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Trend justification
The population trend has not been estimated directly. Forest loss within the range has been negligible over the last three generations (3% over 15.3 years; Global Forest Watch 2020). Given the species's dependence on humid montane forest, the rate of population decline may be higher than forest loss; it is thus tentatively placed here in the band 1-9% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Nothocercus nigrocapillus is known from the eastern slopes of the Andes in north-central South America. The range of the nominate subspecies extends from central Peru to Bolivia, with the subspecies cadwaladeri restricted to north-west Peru (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


This is a little-known species of mainly subtropical, but also temperate, humid montane forests of the east Andes. It occurs from 2,000-3,000 m. It inhabits the floor of subtropical and temperate humid forests, preferring areas with little undergrowth, thick leaf litter and bamboo stands (Gomes and Kirwan 2020). The species is thought to be omnivorous, and has been seen feeding on fallen bamboo seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


The species is threatened by the loss and fragmentation of its montane forest habitat due to clearing for agriculture and cattle pastures (Gomes and Kirwan 2020). Nevertheless, forests within the altitudinal range of the species remain largely unaffected by logging (Global Forest Watch 2020, Gomes and Kirwan 2020).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).


32-35 cm. Medium-sized, brown tinamou. Dark head, with generally paler underparts occasionally showing heavy barring.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Nothocercus nigrocapillus. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.