The Golden-headed Manakin is a dazzling beauty that captivates with its jet black plumage and captivating golden head radiating brilliance

Combinations of red and white stand out in contrast to that black body and bright golden head, making him a distinctive bird indeed!

Meet the Golden-headed Manakin

Photo Courtesy of Mike’s Birds / CC BY-SA 2.0

The golden-headed manakin (Ceratopipra erythrocephala), is a small, compact, passerine bird that is very brightly colored. The adult male has a black body, with red and white thighs. His head is orange-yellow on the forehead, crown, cheeks, and upper nape. This golden yellow helmet is slightly bordered with red, which is very indistinct, and difficult to see. The thin bill is yellowish-white. His eyes are white. Legs and feet are pinkish-brown.

Photo Courtesy of Feroze Omardeen / CC BY 2.0

The female is very different from the male and difficult to spot with olive-green plumage overall. Her underparts are paler, mainly with a washed yellowish belly.

She has grey eyes rather than white. The juvenile is similar to the female.

Photo Courtesy of Feroze Omardeen / CC BY 2.0

These birds are resident to and endemic in Panama, Colombia, and Trinidad, as well as the Guianas, Brazil, and northern Peru.

Golden-headed manakins prefer humid forests, mainly open secondary growth woodlands. It is visible up to 1100 meters of elevation, but locally, it may be seen up to 2000 meters.

Golden-headed Manakin is mainly frugivorous, mainly feeding on small fruits, and berries, particularly the berries of Miconia, Melastomataceae family, and also Rubiaceae, plucked on the wing. Though it will also catch insects on the wing, or from vegetation.

The male Golden-headed Manakin has a fascinating breeding display at a communal lek. Each male occupies a horizontal perch 6-12 m high and rapidly jumps and slides, or darts to other perches. The display is accompanied by the whirring of the wings and a buzzing zit-zit call. Groups of up to 12 birds may perform together.

The female builds a shallow cup-shaped nest low in a tree, into which two brown-mottled yellowish eggs are laid, and incubated by her for about 16-17 days.

Photo Courtesy of chdwckvnstrsslhm uploaded to commons by user ltshears / CC BY 2.0

Golden-headed Manakin are regarded as fairly common to common in most parts of the range. This species is not considered threatened.

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