White-collared Manakin

White-collared Manakin

White-collared Manakin (Manacus candei)
Species:M. candei
Scientific Name: Manacus candei

About the White Collared Manakin

Links and References

Cornell Lab of Ornithology lists 17 Genus of manakins with 53 species.1 The White-collared Manakin, Manacus candei, is one of four species in the Genus, Manacus. The male, brightly colored with a prominent white collar, has a yellow breast, black cap, with black wings and back. Whereas the male is bright and unmistakable, the female is olive-green to blend in when incubating her eggs. The White-collared Manakin is small at four inches (10 – 11 centimeters). Its identifying feature is bright red legs on both male and female. The female builds the nest and is the sole provider for the chick(s). These manakins are common in the Caribbean lowland and foothills of Costa Rica and may be found as high as 3,000 feet (900 meters). Their habitat ranges from southern Mexico to northern Panama.

Their main diet is small seeds or fruits, described as fructivorous; however, they occasionally catch and eat insects. Such eating behavior (mostly seeds) means the female to be the sole provider of the chicks, with a clutch of one or two eggs. Collecting seeds is less time consuming and more efficient to feed the growing chicks. Typical incubation time ranges from 18 – 21 days.

The male uses an extravagant dance to attract females. First, he clears a dance court which is approximately two feet (61 centimeters) in diameter. He removes all of the leaves and small debris by individually picking each up in his beak and flying it off the court. He will choose a place that has small trees, typically less than ¾ inches (2 centimeters) in diameter around the mating court. The adult males practice on their own court and select a mating site there. When practicing he denotes this spot by doing a touch-and-go landing followed by a “whrrrrrrring” sound, produced with his wings then flying directly upward for no more than one foot (30 centimeters). The formal dance starts with the male jumping from tree to tree, making a clicking noise, with his wings, when he touches the tree. Careful observation shows that this dance is not totally random. When a female is interested, she joins in the dance and towards the end follows the male jumping from tree to tree. If he has passed her test, she follows him to his designated spot, and they mate. Mating is a very rapid, less than several seconds. Afterwards she flies off to her nest.

Juvenile males can be seen practicing their dance in a court which is or can be shared by other juveniles (less than two years old). They are not as expert in clearing the courtship floor; however, they do designate an area for mating. Their wing clicking does not sound as crisp as the mature males.

Links & References


1. Winkler, D. W., S. M. Billerman, and I.J. Lovette (2020). Manakins (Pipridae), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

General Reading on Manakins

1. Prum, R. O. (2017) The Evolutioin of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us. Doubleday, New York, NY, 428 pp.

2. Snow, D. W. (1976) The World of Adaptation: Bird Studies in the American Tropics. A Demeter Press Book, The New York Times Book, Co., New York, NY 176 pp.

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