White-ruffed Manakins

The White-ruffed Manakin, Corapipo altera, is a tiny passerine bird in the manakin family. It is a resident breeder in the tropical New World (Americas) from eastern Honduras to northwestern Venezuela.

It is common in the lowlands and foothills breeding mainly between 400-600 m on the Caribbean slope and up to 1500 m on the Pacific slopes. It descends to the lowlands in the wet season.

This is a species of wet forest, adjacent clearings and tall second growth.

White-ruffed Manakin

Breeding / Nesting:

The female lays two brown-speckled white eggs in a shallow cup nest 5-7 m high in a horizontal tree fork. Nest-building, incubation for 18-21 days, and care of the young are undertaken by the female alone, since manakins do not form stable pairs.

Like other manakins, this species has a fascinating breeding display at a communal lek. 3-4 males one at a time descend in a slow fluttering flight on to a mossy fallen log with tail raised and ruff spread, and then give a little jump.


The White-ruffed Manakin is, like its relatives, a compact short-tailed bird with a heavy hooked bill, dark legs and striking male plumage. It is typically 10 cm long and weighs 12.5 g.

The adult male is mostly glossy blue-black with a white erectile ruff on the throat and sides of the neck. His wings are modified, with a very short outer primary. The male’s call is a thin s-e-e-e-e-e or, in display, a twangy shree-up. The wings are used to make a dull snap like a breaking twig, as with other manakins.

The female and young males are olive-green with a grey throat.


  • Hilty, Birds of Venezuela, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
  • Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-0814-9600-4
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