Chiroxiphia caudata Chiroxiphia is one of several genera of manakins , small song birds of South and Central America. The male plumage is a striking combination of black and bright blue. The crown is red, except in the yellow-crowned C. Females are comparably dull olive-greenish overall. Juveniles of both sexes resemble the adult female.
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The blue-backed manakin is absent in the northwest Amazon Basin, a region from central Venezuela to the southern border of Colombia. This manakin is a fairly common bird of dry and moist deciduous forests, but not rainforest. The male is mainly black with a bright blue back, and pale orange legs.
The crown is typically red, but yellow in C. The female has olive-green upperparts, and somewhat paler olive underparts. Young males are olive, but show a red cap and the start of a blue back as they mature. The race endemic to Tobago, C. It has been suggested that it represents a separate species, the Tobago manakin, but no major authorities recognize this today. This species is similar to lance-tailed manakin , Chiroxiphia lanceolata, which breeds further north from northern Venezuela to Costa Rica , but the latter has elongated central tail feathers , and the male has a somewhat brighter blue back.
Ecology[ edit ] The male blue-backed manakin has a fascinating breeding display, unusual in that it is a cooperative display rather than competitive. Two males perch next to each other on a bare stick and jump up and down alternately, giving a buzzing call. When a female approaches, the perched bird moves backwards under the jumping bird, so the two perform a vertical circling movement. Groups of up to eight birds may perform together, with a different stick for each pair of displaying males.
The female builds a twig nest in a tree; two brown-mottled white eggs are laid, and incubated entirely by the female for about 20 days. Apart from the buzzing display song, blue-backed manakin has a number of other calls, including a whee-whee-CHUP, sometimes given by two male in synchrony. These manakins eat fruit and some insects. Status[ edit ] This bird has a very wide range, is fairly common and is presumed to have a large total population.