Thursday, November 4, 2010

White-crowned Manakin

Today I caught a female White-crowned Manakin, Dixiphia pipra. Female manakins are less easy to tell apart than the males, but the grayish head and dark-red iris of the female White-crowned Manakin are distinctive.

Not having seen this bird before, I was curious to find out a bit more about its life history. Apparently, it is a species of lower middle elevations (800 - 1500 m), found from Costa Rica to northeastern Peru and southeastern Brazil (Stiles & Skutch 1989). Another field guide, the more recent Garrigues & Dean (2007), gives 500 - 1500 m as elevational range for this species.

However, I'm here in Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast at 0 m elevation!

And the checklist for Tortuguero (included in Ralph et al. 2008), does not even include this species. It mentions three manakin species, including the similar White-ruffed Manakin (similar in the female plumage, that is), but the female of that species has darker eyes, a greener head, and a lighter throat.

Cited literature:
Garrigues, R. and R. Dean. 2007. The Birds of Costa Rica: a Field Guide. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY.
Ralph, C.J., M. Widdowson, B. Widdowson, B. O'Donnell & R.I. Frey. 2008. Tortuguero Bird Monitoring Station Protocol, unpublished draft version January 2008.
Stiles, F. G. and A. F. Skutch. 1989. A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY.

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