The Lesser Nothura bird, also known as the Little Nothura or Spotted Nothura, is a small game bird found in South America. It is a member of the Tinamidae family, along with other tinamous and related species.
The Lesser Nothura has a distinctive plumage, with dark brown spots on a light brown background. It has a short, rounded tail and long legs, features that are common among tinamous. They typically measure around 23-28 cm in length and weigh up to 300 grams.
These birds are distributed across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, where they inhabit open grasslands and savannas. They are often seen in pairs or small groups, scavenging for insects, seeds, and small invertebrates on the ground. As they are not good fliers, they prefer to run and hide, relying on their camouflaged plumage to evade predators.
During the breeding season, which typically takes place from September to February, the male Lesser Nothura will establish a territory and perform courtship displays to attract a female. The female will lay around 3-5 eggs in a shallow depression on the ground, and both parents will share incubation duties for approximately 21-23 days. The chicks are precocial, which means they are born with feathers and able to move around on their own shortly after hatching.
While the Lesser Nothura is not globally threatened, it is hunted for its meat and eggs in some parts of its range. Habitat loss and degradation also pose a threat to their populations, as grasslands are being converted to agriculture and urban areas. However, they are adaptable to human-disturbed habitats and can be found in parks and gardens. Therefore, conservation efforts should focus on maintaining suitable habitat and raising awareness about the importance of preserving grassland ecosystems to sustain wildlife populations.