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Orange-collared Mannikins

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Orange-collared ManakinThe Orange-collared Manakins, Manacus aurantiacus, are endemic resident breeder in Costa Rica and western Panama. They occur in the lowlands and foothills of the Pacific slope up to 1100 m, where they inhabit semi-open moist forest, tall second growth, shady plantations and gardens.


It is a compact short-tailed bird with a heavy hooked bill, orange legs and brightly colored male plumage. It averages 10 cm / 4 in length and weighs around 15.5 g.

The adult male has a black crown, wings and tail, and a black band across the midback. The rest of the head, neck, breast and upper back are orange. The rump is olive-green and the abdomen is bright yellow. The male wings are heavily modified, with the five outer primaries (longest wing feathers) very narrow for their outer half, and the inner primaries (longest wing feathers) thickened and bowed. This feature is shared only by the male White-collared Manakin.

Female and young males are olive-green with a yellow belly.

Breeding / Nesting:

The female lays two brown-speckled grey eggs in a shallow cup nest 0.5-2.5 m high in a horizontal tree fork. Nest-building, incubation for 18-21 days, and care of the young are undertaken by the female alone, since manakins do not form stable pairs.

Like other manakins, this species has a fascinating breeding display at a communal lek. Each male clears a small patch of forest floor up to 120 cm across to bare earth, and leaps to and fro between thin upright bare sticks, giving a loud wing snap. When a female is present males jump together, crossing each other above the bare display court. The throat feathers are also erected to form a beard.

Diet / Feeding:

They feed low in the trees on fruit and some insects.

Calls / Vocalization:

The male’s call is a clear cheeuu.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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