Bertrando Campos

Swallow-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) Juvenile

Known in Brazil (to which country it is almost endemic) as the ‘Tangará’ or ‘Dançador’, this is one of the most immediately recognizable and beautiful species found in the Atlantic Forest, and is also very abundant. The Swallow-tailed (or Blue) Manakin is a perennial favourite amongst birdwatchers, especially for its spectacular and noisy courtship rituals, which were among the first manakin displays to be described in any detail and have been the subject of extensive study since. Like the Swallow-tailed Manakin’s congenerics, males display cooperatively, although by far the greatest number of copulations is achieved by the ‘alpha’ male at each arena. In terms of the birds’ plumage, this species is the most radically ‘different’ of the five Chiroxiphia manakins. Males have predominantly blue, rather than mainly black plumage as well as a much more extensive red crown patch. The mainly green females share the ‘swallow’ tail, although the extensions are reduced in length.

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