Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
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Orange-collared Manakin Picture

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The Orange-collared Manakin, Manacus aurantiacus, is a passerine bird in the manakin family. It is an endemic resident breeder in Costa Rica and western Panama.

It occurs in the lowlands and foothills of the Pacific slope up to 1100 m, being replaced on the Caribbean slopes of tropical Central America by the closely related White-collared Manakin, M. candei, and eastwards of its range to northwestern Colombia by the Golden-collared Manakin, Manacus vitellinus, of which was formerly considered a subspecies.

This is a bird of semi-open moist forest, tall second growth, shady plantations and gardens. 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.

The Orange-collared Manakin is, like its relatives, a compact short-tailed bird with a heavy hooked bill, orange legs and brightly coloured male plumage. It is typically 10 cm long and weighs 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 belly is bright yellow.

The male wings are heavily modified, with the five outer primaries very narrow for their outer half, and the inner primaries thickened and bowed. This feature is shared only by the male White-collared and Golden-collared Manakins. The male's call is a clear cheeuu, and the wings are used to make a loud snap like a breaking twig, as with other manakins, and various rustling and whiffling noises produced by the modified wings.

The female and young males are olive-green with a yellow belly. They are very similar to female White-collared Manakin, but there is no range overlap. First-year males have a golden tinge to the breast.

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.

The Orange-collared Manakin feeds low in the trees on fruit and some insects, both plucked from the foliage in flight.

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