Posted By Zoey T. Posted On

Decked Out In Electric Blue And Red, This Highly Conspicuous Look Is Coupled With Equally Electric Dance Moves – Meet The Blue Manakin!

Highly distinctive, he is decked out in electric blue, topped off with an equally distinctive bright red cap and orange legs.


“File:Chiroxiphia caudata -Piraju, Sao Paulo, Brazil -male-8 (1).jpg” by Dario Sanches from São Paulo, Brazil is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The blue manakin or swallow-tailed manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) is a small species of bird in the Pipridae family. Once known as the “swallow-tailed manakin,” they are by far the Manakin with the most blue on their plumage. So much so almost the whole body is bright blue, while the wings, tail, and head are black, except for the bright red cap.

Photo Courtesy of Dario Sanches / CC BY-SA 2.0

When compared to the male, the female is a duller greenish-brown.

Juvenile males tend to resemble the adult female until they develop their red cap.

 Photo (cropped) by Cláudio Dias Timm from Rio Grande do Sul is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .

These birds are found mainly in the Atlantic Forest of south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and far north-eastern Argentina.

“File:Chiroxiphia caudata male.jpg” (cropped) by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Blue manakins like to live in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and or heavily degraded former forests.

Photo Courtesy of Dario Sanches / CC BY-SA 2.0

Blue manakins forage mainly on small fruits and berries, and insects. Food is often taken while they hover near a limb or dart up to grab food and return to their perch to eat.

Photo Courtesy of Biagolini  / CC BY-SA 4.0

Male blue-backed Manakins put on a cooperative, rather than competitive breeding display, where two males will perch next to each other and jump up and down alternately, making buzzing calls. When an interested female approaches, the perching male moves backward under the other jumping male, soon performing a vertical circling movement. The female goes on to build a next made from twigs in a chosen tree. She will lay two brown-mottled white eggs incubating them for up to 20 days. She alone also raises the chicks.

“File:Chiroxiphia caudata -Piraju, Sao Paulo, Brazil -juvenile-8.jpg” by Dario Sanches from São Paulo, Brazil is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

This bird has a very wide range, is common, and is presumed to have a large total population. The population trend is thought to be stable and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the bird’s conservation status as being of “least concern.”

“File:Blue Manakin – Intervales NP – Brazil S4E0268 (12798221194) (2).jpg” by Francesco Veronesi from Italy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.