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Manakins: Pipridae

Physical Characteristics

Manakins are some of the most brightly colored, energetic, attractive birds of the Western Hemisphere. They are generally small, around the size of hummingbirds. Most are less than 5 inches (13 centimeters) long and weigh only 0.35 to 0.70 ounces (10 to 20 grams). Manakins live up to fifteen years, an unusually long life for birds this small.

Female and young manakins of both sexes tend to be olive-green or black. Males, however, have intense jewel-like colors, with white, red, blue, or yellow areas on the top of the head, neck, and across the back, depending on the particular species. Young males go through several molts, or sets of feathers, before they achieve the full color of adults. In some species the males have long tail feathers that almost double the length of their body. Others have modified wing feathers that can be used by the males to make whirring or snapping sounds as part of their courtship and mating rituals.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsManakins: Pipridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Long-tailed Manakin (chiroxiphia Linearis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, MANAKINS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS