Blue backed manakin amongst forest foliage


Manakins are a family of compact little perching birds with big heads, short tails and stout bills. Most adult males boast a striking black plumage contrasted by flashes of vivid colour; decorative tails or crown feathers are also present in some species. In contrast, females and young are a much more drab green.

The males spend a lot of time gathered on display grounds showing off to the females, with some of the most spectacular courtship displays known. Most of the 60 species of manakin live in the humid tropical forests of Central and South America, from southern Mexico down to southern Brazil. Rather than perching, their feeding technique involves plucking small fruit whilst still in flight, similar in fashion to other birds taking insects.

Scientific name: Pipridae

Rank: Family


Map showing the distribution of the Manakins taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Manakins can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

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The following habitats are found across the Manakins distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web