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White-crowned Manakin

Pseudopipra pipra

The White-crowned Manakin, Pseudopipra pipra, is a diminutive and distinctive member of the Pipridae family. This bird is notable for its sexual dimorphism: males are adorned with a striking white crown, which contrasts sharply with their otherwise black plumage, while females and juveniles present an olive-green coloration with a grey head and throat.

Identification Tips

Males are easily recognized by their glossy black bodies and the brilliant white crown that can be raised into a crest. Females and young males are more subdued in appearance, with olive-green upperparts and greyish-green or olive underparts. The red eyes are a distinctive feature in both sexes, aiding in identification.

Habitat

The White-crowned Manakin favors the understory of wet forests and adjacent tall secondary growth. It thrives in dense humid forests, secondary woodland, and even in isolated forest 'islands' within savannas, showing a preference for hilly terra firme forests above 250 meters in elevation.

Distribution

This species is widely distributed across the tropical New World, from Costa Rica to northeastern Peru and eastern Brazil. It is also found in the mountain foothills, typically breeding between 800 and 1600 meters, though it can occur at sea level in northeastern Venezuela.

Behaviour

The White-crowned Manakin is known for its lekking behavior during the breeding season, where males perform elaborate displays to attract females. These leks are more dispersed compared to other manakins, with males positioned within earshot of each other but up to 100 meters apart.

Song & Calls

The male's vocalization is a distinctive buzzy "jeeeee," which becomes louder and is preceded by a popping "p-p-p chee" when he is displaying. These sounds play a crucial role in the lekking behavior of this species.

Breeding

Nests are constructed in the horizontal fork of an understory shrub or small tree, often within forest openings with denser surrounding vegetation. The nest is an open cup made of vegetable fibers and fungal hyphae, camouflaged with dead leaves and secured with spider webs. The clutch typically consists of two eggs, which are dirty white with vinous-brown markings.

Similar Species

While the male White-crowned Manakin is quite distinctive, females may be confused with other species. However, the combination of a grey head, red eyes, and specific plumage tones can aid in differentiating them from similar species.

Diet and Feeding

This species forages low in the trees, primarily consuming fruit and some insects, which are plucked from the foliage in flight.

Conservation Status

The White-crowned Manakin is classified as "Least Concern" by the IUCN, with a fairly common presence across a wide range. However, there is concern that predicted climate change could have a significant impact on its habitat and range in the future.

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White-crowned Manakins on Birda

Sightings

More Manakins

A photo of a Araripe Manakin (Antilophia bokermanni) , male

Araripe Manakin

Antilophia bokermanni
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