Unsorted Wild Birds

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.


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.


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.

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