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Lance-tailed manakin

Chiroxiphia lanceolata

Description: Males and females differ in appearance (sexually dichromatic). The male Lance-tailed manakin’s plumage is mostly black. He has a slightly crested red crown and his back is light blue. The female’s plumage is olive-green with the underparts a shade paler than the upperparts. Both sexes have two central elongated tail feathers, orange legs and a short wide bill. Juveniles, during their first year, have the same coloring as females. It is during their second year that juvenile males develop a red crown and then within the next three years their black plumage.

Size: Including their tail feathers, they reach a length of about 5.3 inches (13.5 cm) and weigh approximately 0.6 ounce (17.5 gr); females are smaller than males.

Behavior: During mating season, males of this species perform their display in teams of two, jumping up and down, side by side, on a branch, while snarling and whistling.

Diet: Feed mainly on fruit that they snatch in flight and some insects.

Communication: The have a variety of calls that are used for displaying, mating, to signal distress and to fend off predators. The most common calls heard are “toe-LEE-doe” and “curry-ho.” Nestlings emit soft cheeps as a signal to their mother.

Reproduction: After mating, the female goes it alone. She builds the nest, incubate the eggs and care for the young. The shallow cup nest is suspended from forked branches in a small tree where adjacent branches provide camouflage. The clutch size is one to two brown-mottled cream eggs that are incubated for about 20 days. The newly hatched young are covered with grayish-tan natal down

Habitat/range: They inhabit dry and moist tropical forests with thick undergrowth in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela.

Status: Listed as Least Concern (LC) on IUCN