Animals of the world, Manakins

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manakin (640x413)

  • The manakins are a family, Pipridae, of small suboscine passerine birds living in the American tropics.
  • They range in size from 7 to 15 cm (3 to 6 in) and in weight from 8 to 30 g (0.28 to 1.06 Oz)
  • They are compact stubby birds with short tails, broad and rounded wings, and big heads
  • Females and immature males are typically coloured in drab greens and browns, but adult males are often black with splashes of bright plumage ranging from cerulean blue to fiery red to egg-yolk yellow, and in some species having long, decorative tail or crown feathers or erectile throat feathers.
  • Despite their numerical dominance, they are often difficult to observe because of their small size, quick flight speed, and preference for patches of dense vegetation
  • Manakins feed on small fruits and berries, and to a lesser degree, insects
  • Many manakin species have spectacular lekking courtship rituals, some have heavily modified wing feathers, which they use to make buzzing and snapping sounds. Depending on the species, Manakins choose areas with thin saplings, a bit of bare ground, or even a flat log to perform their dances. While some lift and rattle their wings, others shake their tails back and forth, and many do sudden, little jumps into the air — accompanied by abrupt calls