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Bird of paradise at Tirimbina?

Birds are one of the most diverse groups in Costa Rica, and the birds of Tirimbina are no exception: with almost three hundred species here, one can find from the most common to the rarest of species, some plain and some which by their colors, songs and sounds cannot be missed, no matter what a person’s level of interest in birds.

This is the case of the White-collared Manakin (manacus candei), which resembles the famous birds of paradise that dwell only in Oceania. Like them, it boasts exceptionally striking feather colors and behavioral displays, but it is found in lowlands and foothills of the Caribbean coast from southeast Mexico to eastern Panama.

The interesting courting behavior of Tirimbina’s manacus candei is like that of the birds of paradise. It strikes its wings together to produce a sound resembling the knocking of two stones. Sometimes this activity is done in small groups of males, known as a LEK, where the males clean an area of the forest floor (up to 1.2 meters) while jumping from side to side between the branches and soil, emitting the peculiar sounds. Along with the beauty of their plumage, this behavior makes them more attractive to females for reproduction. All this incredible activity occurs mainly at this time of year, the mating season. And one of the best places to most often observe and hear it is on the island at Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

Manacus candei
Photo: Witold Lapinski

By: Daniel Granados
Tirimbina Guide.


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