White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Pipridae
  • Polytypic: 15 subspecies
  • Authors: Lindsey Tu, Casey McCabe, and Wendy Tori


Males are differentially successful in attracting females and completing copulation, with older, dominant males being more successful than younger males. Young males tend to occupy courts temporarily, shifting as more dominant males claim them (Snow 1962). Olson and McDowell (1983) found that when observing three males there was high reproductive skew towards one male. This male received 88% of female visits and 92% of copulations.


Nests are usually built between 0.5-1.5 m off above the ground. Most nests are built near water, with some actually hanging over the water. The outer portion of the nests are made by weaving rootlets and black fungal hyphae with twigs used for support. Nests are lined with soft plant matter; Nespera aquatica is a popular nest lining plant that grows along forest edges where White-bearded Manakins dwell (Snow 1962).


White-bearded Manakin eggs are mostly white with brown streaks mainly at larger end (Snow 1962).

Clutch size

Nests average two eggs per clutch, with a clutch size of one being less common but not unheard of (Snow 1962. Females are known to have more than one clutch, but exact numbers of clutches per season are unknown (Snow 1962).


Incubation periods average between 18 and 19 days. Females are the sole incubator of the eggs and only leave the eggs to feed. During the final three days of the incubation, females will spend the vast majority of their time on the eggs, leaving less frequently to feed (Snow 1962).

Parental Care

Chicks hatch with a light layer of down. Brooding lasts for about five days after hatching after which chicks are not brooded at all. Hatchlings are fed by regurgitation, and largely consisting of fruit with some smaller amounts of insects mixed in. The hatchlings remain in the nest for 13-15 days after which the chicks follow the female around. Based on the time between clutches it is assumed that the female will stay with the young for three or four weeks (Snow 1962).

Recommended Citation

Tu, L., C. McCabe, and W. Tori (2013). White-bearded Manakin (Manacus manacus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whbman1.01