Redcapped manakin

Pipra mentalis

SUBFAMILY

Piprinae

TAXONOMY

Pipra mentalis Sclater, 1857, Cordova = Córdoba, Vera Cruz, Mexico.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Manakin a cuisses jaunes; German: Gelbhosenpipra; Spanish: Saltarín de Capa Roja.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Sexes differ. Length is 3.9 in (10 cm). Males are velvety black except for bright yellow thighs and pale yellow underwing coverts, with a distinctive bright scarlet head. The shafts of the flight feathers are thickened, and both thickened and curved in the secondary feathers. The female is dull olive above. Males have white eyes, females have brown eyes. The legs are dull brown.

DISTRIBUTION

Western Colombia and western Ecuador. HABITAT

Lower and middle understory of humid and wet forest. BEHAVIOR

Lekking males gather in loose groups in low to middle forest understory. The modified shafts of the rectrices and secondaries produce mechanical wing snaps, and wing whirring and rustling buzzes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Small fruits and insects are taken during quick, sallying flights. REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The female alone makes a shallow cup-shaped nest attached to a horizontal branch fork from 5-10 ft (1.5-3 m) above the forest floor. The clutch consists of two grayish buff eggs, with a wreath of mottled brown around the large end.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Common in its preferred habitat. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Eco-tourists and birdwatchers enjoy seeing the males. Its image has been used on postage stamps. ♦

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