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
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 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.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The manakins are a clade (Pipridae) of unique small suboscine passerine birds. The group contains some 60 species distributed through the American tropics. The name is from Middle Dutch mannekijn 'little man' (also the source of the different bird name mannikin).
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