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Red-capped Manakin - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Glen Tepke
Semaphore Hill Road, Soberania National Park, Panama, January 2004
Ceratopipra mentalis

Dixiphia mentalis


Approximately 4 inches

Similar Species

In area of overlap, female Golden-headed Manakin is very difficult to separate, and color of bill, legs, and irides is variable in both species. For the few female colored birds where yellow thighs or white irides is noted, that should be indication of Red-capped Manakin.


Central and South America
Central America: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama
South America: Colombia and Ecuador

Photo by megan perkins
Carara, Costa Rica, April 2010


Formerly placed in genus Pipra.


There are 3 subspecies:

  • C. m. mentalis:
  • C. m. ignifera:
  • C. m. minor:


Moist tropical and lowland neotropical forests.



The males spend much of their time in areas called leks, where they practice their mating displays. They run back and forth on a branch, jumping rapidly between branches, repeatedly turn around on their perch, while making a variety of strange noises, including a loud one they make with their wings that sounds like snapping your fingers. The males spend hours sitting around the lek observing each other practice their moves. When a female appears, all of the males start displaying at once, trying to put on the best show they can. If the female is impressed, she mates with one of the males. These are best known for "moonwalking" along a branch whilst doing the courtship display.

The female builds the nest, incubates the eggs and raises the young by herself.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2016. IOC World Bird Names (version 6.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Avibase
  4. BF Member observations
  5. Birdforum thread discussing id of Red-capped Manakin

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External Links

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