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Bertrando Campos

Male Pin-tailed Manakin (Ilicura militaris)

The beautiful and highly distinctive Pin-tailed Manakin is endemic to the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil, where it is not rare but the species is nonetheless highly prized by birdwatchers, especially as its unusually quiet vocalisations can render it unobtrusive, making encounters much less frequent than with other manakins that occur in the same region. The male Pin-tailed Manakin is one of the most unmistakable and prettiest of manakins, and even the female is difficult to confuse given that it shares the male’s ‘unusual’ head shape and ‘pin-tail’ central rectrices. The species prefers humid forest, woodlots and mature second growth, perhaps most frequently in valleys. Its systematic relationships have only recently been elucidated, although its uniqueness has long been recognised by taxonomists. However, some facets of the Pin-tailed Manakin’s life history, especially its breeding biology and diet, are still relatively poorly known.

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