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manakin

manakin (măn´əkən), common name for stocky, tiny birds, most measuring less than 5 in. (12.5 cm) long, comprising 59 species in the family Pipridae. Manakins are found throughout the forested areas of Central and South America, where they feed on a diet of small fruits picked on the wing, and occasional insects. They are noted for their curiously modified wing feathers, with which the birds produce a series of whirring and snapping sounds during flight. The sexes differ markedly. The females of most of the species are inconspicuous olive green birds. Males are strikingly arrayed. Primarily greenish brown to black, they have brilliant patches of red, blue, and yellow, often with further ornamental modifications, such as the long central tail feathers of the Fandango birds, genus Chiroxiphia. In manakins, as in their relatives, the cotingas, male ornamentation is often coupled with elaborate mating displays. Among the Fandango birds, e.g., C. pareola, two or more males cooperate to perform a complex series of acrobatics in order to attract female onlookers. Gould's manakin, Manacus vitellinus, clears an area of the forest floor of litter between two saplings and performs a leaping dance, snapping his wings noisily and flitting from branch to branch. When he is joined by a female, mating occurs and the female flies off to lay her 2 pale brown, mottled eggs. The male is polygamous and mates with as many females as he attracts. The female weaves delicate hammock nests of grass, slung in ferns or saplings and typically overlying water. She is entirely responsible for incubation and care of the young. Manakins are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Pipridae.

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Pipridae

Pipridae (manakins; class Aves, order Passeriformes) A family of small, stocky, short-tailed birds which have short, broad, slightly hooked bills, and short wings. Their short legs have the centre toe fused basally to the second or fourth toe. They are mainly black, with coloured heads and crowns. (The 16–18 species of Pipra are mainly glossy, black or green; the males have bright red, blue, yellow, and white heads or crowns, and brightly coloured thighs.) Manakins inhabit tropical forests, feed on fruit and insects, and nest in bushes. There are 18 or 19 genera, comprising about 60 species, found in Central and S.America.

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manakins

manakins See PIPRIDAE.

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manakin

manakin •grimalkin • lambkin • napkin • gaskin •lambskin • catkin •Larkin, parkin •calfskin • sharkskin • welkin •Potemkin • Jenkin • redskin •bearskin • snakeskin • Deakin •sealskin • sheepskin • chicken •limpkin • pipkin •griskin, siskin •pigskin • spillikin • ramekin •manikin, mannequin, pannikin •minikin • larrikin • Zworykin •wineskin • bodkin • Hodgkin •Donkin •Algonquin, Tonkin •Hopkin •Kropotkin, Watkin •walk-in • foreskin • doeskin •moleskin • goatskin • oilskin •coonskin • wolfskin • Pushkin •bumpkin, pumpkin •buskin, Ruskin •buckskin • deerskin • baldachin •manakin •firkin, gherkin, jerkin, merkin, Perkin

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Manakins

Manakins

Manakins are 54 species of small, tropical birds that comprise the family Pipridae, occurring from southern Mexico to Paraguay. Manakins are species that dwell in mature, tropical forests.

Manakins are squat, compact birds, with short, rounded wings and a short tail. However, in some species the tail of the male is greatly lengthened by the occurrence of long, thin extensions, sometimes longer than the rest of the body. Manakins have a short beak, slightly hooked at the tip. They are skilled and maneuverable fliers.

Male manakins of most species are very brightly colored, with brilliant patterns of red, yellow, blue, or white on a background of black or dark gray. Female manakins are much less brilliant, and are typically olive-green in color.

Manakins are highly active birds. They commonly fly-catch insects, which are a major component of their diet. Manakins even utilize aerial sallies to pluck fruit, another of their important foods.

Manakins are famous for their elaborate courtship rituals, which are among the most complex of any of the birds. The most celebrated courtships involves species in which the males display at leks, or communal assembly areas where males gather to display to each other and to females as they arrive seeking a potential mate.

Individual males of the white bearded manakins (Manacus spp.) clear a small, approximately 3 ft (1sqm) area of the forest floor of leaves, twigs, and other litter, as do other males. In this way a large lek of as many as 70 courts can develop, over an area as wide as 98 ft (30 m). These courts are the places where the individual male birds perform their pre-nuptial displays to females that arrive from far and wide, to choose their beaux from the many males on hopeful display.

The actual displays vary greatly among the species of manakins, but they generally involve quick, ritualized movements. Those of the golden-headed manakins (Pipra spp.) are relatively well known, and include quick slidings along a horizontal branch, fleet turnarounds on the branch, and rapid flutterings of the wings, which produce sharp, snappy noises. The males also execute rapid flights over a distance of less than 98 ft (30 m), somehow making ripping noises with the wings. These displays are carried out even in the absence of an attending female, but they are especially intense when the male knows that a potential mate is nearby, and watching, and hopefully choosing.

Bill Freedman

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Manakins

Manakins

Manakins are 53 species of small, tropical birds that comprise the family Pipridae, occurring from southern Mexico to Paraguay. Manakins are species that dwell in mature, tropical forests .

Manakins are squat, compact birds, with short, rounded wings and a short tail. However, in some species the tail of the male is greatly lengthened by the occurrence of long, thin extensions, sometimes longer than the rest of the body. Manakins have a short beak, slightly hooked at the tip. Manakins are skilled and maneuverable fliers.

Male manakins of most species are very brightly colored, with brilliant patterns of red, yellow, blue, or white on a background of black or dark grey. Female manakins are much less brilliant, and are typically olive-green in color .

Manakins are highly active birds. They commonly fly-catch insects , which are a major component of their diet. Manakins even utilize aerial sallies to pluck fruit, another of their important foods.

Manakins are famous for their elaborate courtship rituals, which are among the most complex of any of the birds. The most celebrated courtships involves species in which the males display at leks, or communal assembly areas where males gather to display to each other and to females as they arrive seeking a potential mate.

Individual males of the white bearded manakins (Manacus spp.) clear a small, approximately 3 ft (1 sq m) area of the forest floor of leaves, twigs, and other litter, as do other males. In this way a large lek of as many as 70 courts can develop, over an area as wide as 98 ft (30 m). These courts are the places where the individual male birds perform their pre-nuptial displays to females that arrive from far and wide, to choose their beaux from the many males on hopeful display.

The actual displays vary greatly among the species of manakins, but they generally involve quick, ritualized movements. Those of the golden-headed manakins (Pipra spp.) are relatively well known, and include quick slidings along a horizontal branch, fleet turnarounds on the branch, and rapid flutterings of the wings, which produce sharp, snappy noises. The males also execute rapid flights over a distance of less than 98 ft (30 m), somehow making ripping noises with the wings. These displays are carried out even in the absence of an attending female, but they are especially intense when the male knows that a potential mate is nearby, and watching, and hopefully choosing.

Bill Freedman

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