tinamou the name for birds of the family Tinamidae, of which there are over 40 species ranging from Mexico to Patagonia. These birds are unusual in that the female courts the male, who then has charge of raising the fledglings. They live on grassy plains and seldom take to the air, so an attempt to introduce them to Europe as game birds was unsuccessful.
In size, tinamou resemble small plump chickens. The flesh is tasty and tender. The best known for table purposes seems to be Rhychotus rufescens, the Argentine tinamou.