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Manakin Cam Returns With Wild Displays In 2023

The Lance-tailed Manakin Cam returns for another action-packed season from Isla Boca Brava, Panama! Watch pairs of male birds (one alpha and one beta) perform coordinated leaps and butterfly-like flights as they dance for females on the display perch. Watch live.

Who’s Who: This year features some old friends and new faces. Last year’s beta male, YWmF (banded yellow-over-white on his left leg, metal-over-fluorescent-pink on right) has ascended to become alpha at a new perch site. He has a crew of other males that have been hanging around, with RFFm (red-over-fluorescent-pink on left, fluorescent-pink-over-metal on the right) being the likely beta at the site. 

Working With Wingmen: For Lance-tailed Manakin males, age and experience are some of the most important determinants in breeding success, and last year was YWmF’s first foray into dancing. Now that he’s an alpha, we’ll see if he’s got the moves to attract prospecting females. 

If the duo is successful in wooing a female, the beta male typically leaves the perch before the alpha mates. This may seem like a wasted effort for the beta, but males who serve as betas have an increased chance of making it to alpha status in the future.

When To Watch: Activity is greatest in the morning during Central time, though displays can happen at any time of day. Follow the cam on Twitter for updates on when to see the action at @ManakinCam

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of birds and funded by donors like you

Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library