I came across a video highlighting the unique mating system and courtship displays of tiny tropical birds known as manakins. They interesting for forming leks — a place where multiple males will gather and engage in elaborate displays to get the ladies’ attention.
Take a look at this following video. Now for you none birding folks out there, don’t give up on me… The last minute contains a bird moonwalking, and trust me, you’ll want to see it.
It brings back fond memories of a time when I was near the shores of Lake Catemaco in southern Veracruz, Mexico, standing right next to a friend who suddenly found himself look at one of these birds, a Red-headed Manakin. No sooner had he seen it than the bird was gone.
Long-tailed Manakin – photo source
I have seen other species in the tropics though. I’m particularly fond of the coveted Long-tailed Manakin. These birds will form leks where males will jump up and down as they call, trying to attract a female. The displays can last 20 minutes.
They’re extremely vocal too, giving a series of varied noises. Two of the most notable are their toledo song and a call that I can only describe as sounding like a baby crying — a descending waaah.
I’ve included them at the bottom of the post. (If you’re using internet explorer, you may have to click play twice due to the new way Microsoft handles the Flash plugin. I won’t get into it).
It’s little things like this that should remind us how important conservation is. The life and diversity within tropical rainforests is simply staggering. Even now, after years of study and exploration, it yields new secrets and new beauties.