Goldenheaded manakin

Pipra erythrocephala

SUBFAMILY

Piprinae

TAXONOMY

Pipra erythrocephala Linnaeus, 1758. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Manakin à tête d'or; German: Goldkopfpipra; Spanish: Saltarín Cabecidorado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Sexes differ. Length is 3.6 in (9.1 cm). The male is glossy black with a brilliant golden-yellow head; thighs are red and white. Adult males have white eyes. The female is dull olive with gray eyes. Bills are yellowish white and legs are pale or flesh-toned in both sexes.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Following copulation, the female alone builds the nest, incubates the eggs, and raises the young. The nest is a thinly woven cup of fibers attached to a horizontal fork in branches located 3.3-33 feet (1-10 m) off the ground. The eggs, usually two, are pale greenish yellow with many brown streaks around the large end of the shell.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Rather common in preferred habitats. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Eco-tourists and birdwatchers enjoy seeing the males. ♦

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern Panama southward to northeast Peru, Brazil north of the Amazon, the Guianas, and quite numerous on Trinidad.

HABITAT

Upper understory and middle growth of both humid and relatively deciduous forest and mature secondary woodland.

BEHAVIOR

Lek displays are noisy and conspicuous. Pairs of males often seem to be competing with each other. Established males may maintain their residency at the lek for up to eight years. In typical manakin fashion, the males reach a fevered pitch of display when a female approaches, and in full display expose their red and white thigh feathers.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Small fruits and insects are taken during quick, sallying flights. Feed at fruiting trees up to the height of the forest canopy.

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