Three Male Manakins Displaying – From Live Cam of Cornell

The following video, “Three males on the perch, 3/16/2017—Lance-tailed Manakin Cam” was taped yesterday.

“The male Lance-tailed Manakin has an interesting breeding display, unusual in that it is cooperative rather than competitive. Two males perch next to each other on a bare stick and jump up and down alternately, sometimes giving short flights. Groups of birds may perform together, with a different stick for each pair of displaying males. The female builds a cup nest in a tree; two brown-mottled cream eggs are laid, and incubated entirely by the female for about 20 days.

The lance-tailed manakin has a number of calls, including a Toe-LEE-do, a curry-ho, and a frog-like buzzing croak given by displaying males. These manakins eat fruit and some insects. (Wikipedia)

“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 7:2-3 NKJV)

Lance-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) ©WikiC

From the email:

The Manakin Cam Returns

On the small Panamanian island of Boca Brava, male Lance-tailed Manakins are beginning to compete for mates—which they do by working together. You’ll have a front row seat when you watch our live cam.

The Cornell Lab has partnered with Dr. Emily DuVal to bring this live view of manakins to your screen. She has been studying these cooperative displays since 1999, unraveling the mystery of why males form alliances and work together to woo females—even though only one male typically gets to mate.

Here’s what to look for: The live cam shows a display perch used by one pair of males, within a larger area with up to 30 “alpha” males and their partners. Throughout the day, the males perform coordinated displays featuring leaps and butterfly-like flights on the display perch. Occasionally, a brownish female stops by to watch. If she seems interested and receptive, the beta male typically leaves the area and the alpha male starts displaying on his own.

Through much of the day the perch may appear empty; but you can often hear the sweet calls of the male manakins singing a duet, trying to entice a female to check out one of their meticulously maintained display perches (they also have two other display areas off-cam). When the manakins aren’t around, other species (like this antshrikethis wren, or even this wood-rail!) may wander into the frame, and in the mornings and evenings the roaring of howler monkeys echoes through the forest.

You also might want to watch the other videos listed on the Live Came site. Especially the Great Courtship Display and Dance by Alpha/Beta Male Pair

ENJOY!!

Blue Manakins – Displaying or Lekking

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) by ©AGrosset

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) by ©AGrosset

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:21-22 KJV)

I came across a couple of videos of Blue Manakins doing what they were commanded to do by the Lord, by multiplying. Well, to do this, they have to attract the females. There are many birds that use the method of the displaying at a lek. The noun, “lek“, is “a traditional place where males assemble during the mating season and available engage in competitive displays that attract females.” The verb, “lekked, lekking” is defined as, “a male to assemble in a lek and engage in competitive displays.” (definitions from Dictionary.com)

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) Female ©CTimm

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) Female ©CTimm

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. (Genesis 8:17 KJV)

The Blue Manakins (Chiroxphia caudata) are members of the Manakins – Pipridae Family. They were previously called the Swallow-tailed Manakin. They are found “in north-eastern Argentina, southern and south-eastern Brazil, and Paraguay. Its typical habitat is wet lowland or montane forest and heavily degraded former forest. Males have a bright blue body, black head wings and tail and a red crown. Females and juveniles are olive-green. At breeding time, males are involved in lekking behaviour when they sing and dance to impress females.” (Wikipedia)

Not the clearest, but it is difficult in a jungle to video:

From another lek:

Now for the clearest  of all:

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Wikipedia Video of Lekking

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Tickle Me Tuesday – American Woodcock

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

From my friend on Facebook:

“Ok Lee, help me out on this one, is this for real? Is there a bird that really walks like that?
The music they put to this video is perfect, but it’s distracting because I can’t decide if there’s a bird that really does this or not!
Either way, This is a very cute video!”

The answer is Yes! That is an American Woodcock They do that to help make worms move around so they can probe with their beak to find them.

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Here’s another video of a Woodcock Display using a sound they make:

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And yet two more videos of one doing the dance minus the music.

So, what is an American Woodcock? They are members of the Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family.

An interesting fact from All About Birds – “The American Woodcock probes the soil with its bill to search for earthworms, using its flexible bill tip to capture prey. The bird walks slowly and sometimes rocks its body back and forth, stepping heavily with its front foot. This action may make worms move around in the soil, increasing their detectablity.

A very wise creator gave these birds good coloration, courtship displays and a very practical “heavy-footed” walk.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

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All About Birds – American Woodcock

American Woodcock – Wikipedia

Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family

Articles here about the American Woodcock:

Tickle Me Tuesday – Nesting Falcon

All The Tickle Me Tuesdays

Wordless Birds

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Birds Displaying

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV) (Displaying helps)

Here are some more birds displaying. Yesterday the Superb Lyrebird was doing his displaying in Ian’s Bird of the Week.

This video is from BBC wildlife and shows the Bulwer’s Pheasant, Temmincks Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, (Argus Pheasant) – Great Argus, Peacock, all pheasants and the (African) Long-tailed Widowbird.

~ by BBC Wildlife

The Plumed Bird of Paradise is another bird trying to impress the females with his displaying. (They are also known as six-plumed birds of paradise, due to their six head quills. These birds were featured prominently in the BBC series Planet Earth.)

The King Bird of Paradise – the smallest of the family.

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Displaying Superb Lyrebird

Superb Lyrebird #1

Superb Lyrebird #1

Newsletter: 1/21/2010

From the obscure last week (Yellow-legged Flyrobin (Flycatcher) to the iconic this week, a male Superb Lyrebird displaying in an Antarctic Beech forest last Monday in New England, northern NSW – what could be more appropriate after the recorder-playing course in Armidale?

The first photo (above) you can see the display posture of the lyrebird with the long tail feathers bent forwards over the head. The tail feathers are of three types. The two, large, outer left-most ones are called ‘lyrates’ and are about 60cm/24in long. The lyrates have club-shaped ends, are grey and rufous above and silvery and rufous below with a ladder pattern. The two innermost ones, to the right of the lyrates in the photo, are slender ‘guard-plumes’, while the remaining 12 lacy ‘filamentaries’ are blackish above and silvery or grey below (depending on the race).

Superb Lyrebird #2

Superb Lyrebird #2

In the display, the male first raises the tail feathers vertically and it is in this position that the eponymous lyre shape is assumed by the lyrates. The feathers are then brought forward over the head (second photo) and spread sideways to the fullest extent possible. In the third photo, the bird is facing the camera but the head and body are completely hidden – the ultimate masked ball costume. Lyrebirds are all-round performers – not content with just a gorgeous display, he sings vigorously and beautifully, vibrating the filamentaries to make them shimmer. Lyrebirds are famous mimics, historically of other birds in the forest, but nowadays of mechanical devices too. This one was mainly mimicking Crimson Rosellas. At the height of the display, he dances back and forward in time to a percussive phrase rendered as ‘tuggerah tuggerah tug’ by Pizzey and Knight.

Superb Lyrebird #3

Superb Lyrebird #3

There was a female present during the 25 minutes that I watched the display. The male seemed absorbed to the point of being in a trance, letting me approach with in a few metres. The female was warier and moved away eventually, and only then did the male appear to notice my presence and strode off into the forest. The whole scene was like an amazing ballet, the Antarctic Beech forest providing a mossy, enchanted set that reminded me of cloud forest in Ecuador and, during the display, a swamp wallaby went bouncing by, adding to the sense of unreality.

I’m back home in Bluewater now and can resume adding photos to the website.

Best wishes,

Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,

454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818

Phone: +61-7 4751 3115

Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au

Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV) (Displaying helps)

Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter. (Ecclesiastes 10:20 NKJV) (Mimicry)

Thanks again, Ian, for showing this magnificent Lyrebird. This has been a favorite of mine since I did the Interesting Things – Lyre Bird, but since I love this YouTube video by – David Attenborough, I am going to re-post it here.


The Lyrebirds are in the Menuridae Family in the Passeriformes Order. There are two, the Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) and the Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti).

“The Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) is a pheasant-sized songbird, approximately 100cm long, with brown upper body plumage, grayish-brown below, rounded wings and strong legs. It is the longest and third heaviest of all songbirds.

The polygamous male is the bearer of the most elegant of all tails. The tail has sixteen feathers, with the two outermost being lyre-shaped. Next within are two guard plumes and twelve long, lace-like feathers, known as filamentaries. Seven years is required for the tail to fully develop. During courtship display, the tail is fanned forward beyond his head to form a silvery white canopy.

One of the two lyrebirds in the family Menuridae, the other being the much rarer Albert’s Lyrebird, the Superb Lyrebird has a wide vocal range and extraordinary ability to accurately mimic sounds. The female lays a single egg and builds a domed nest above ground.

An Australian endemic, the Superb Lyrebird can be found in the forest of southeastern Australia, from southern Victoria to southeastern Queensland. The diet consists mainly of small animals found on forest floor or from rotting logs.


Albert's Lyrebird (Menura alberti) ©Peter Ellis

Albert's Lyrebird (Menura alberti) ©Peter Ellis

The Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti) is a pheasant-sized songbird, approximately 90cm long, with brown upper body plumage and rich chestnut below. It is very similar with the Superb Lyrebird in its habits. This bird also mimics other species sounds.

The rarer of the two species of lyrebirds, the Albert’s Lyrebird lacks the elegant lyre-shaped tail feathers of the Superb Lyrebird. It also builds platforms by trampling down dense vegetation for courtship display instead of scratch up mounds. The diet consists mainly of insects found on forest floor and from rotting logs.

Named after Prince Albert, the Prince Consort of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, Albert’s Lyrebird is inhabiting and endemic to subtropical rainforests of Australia, in a small area on the state border between New South Wales and Queensland.