White-bearded Mannikin

The White-bearded Manakins, Manacus manacus, is a small passerine bird that breeds in tropical South America. It is found from Colombia, Venezuela, and Trinidad south to Bolivia and northern Argentina.

This manakin is a fairly common bird of forests, second-growth, and plantations.

Breeding / Nesting:

The female builds a shallow cup nest low in a tree; two brown-mottled white eggs are laid, and incubated entirely by the female for about 18-19 days, with a further 13-15 days to fledging. The young are fed mainly on regurgitated fruit with some insects.

The male White-bearded Manakin has a fascinating breeding display at a communal lek. Each male clears a patch of forest floor to bare earth and perches on a bare stick. The display consists of rapid leaps between sticks and the ground, accompanied by a loud wing snap, the whirring of the wings, and a chee-poo call.

Groups of up to 70 birds may perform together, the largest leks (competitive mating displays or dancing grounds) being in Trinidad.

Calls / Vocalizations

Apart from the buzzing display song, White-bearded Manakin has a number of other calls, including a trilled musical peeerr.

Male White-bearded Manakin


Like other manakins, the White-bearded Manakin is a compact, brightly colored forest bird, typically 10.7 cm long and weighing 16.5 g.

The adult male has a black crown, upper back wings, and tail, and the plumage is otherwise white. He has orange legs.

The female and young males are olive-green and resemble female Golden-headed Manakins, but they have orange legs.

The race endemic to Trinidad, M. m. trinitatis is larger than mainland birds, and the female has yellower underparts.

Diet / Feeding:

These manakins eat fruit and some insects.

Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

We love to hear from our readers. If you have any questions or if you want to get in touch with us, you can find our contact details on our About Us page.

Leave a Comment