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Velvety Manakin - BirdForum Opus

Notice the wide black area between bill and crown
Photo © by obasanmi
Panama, March 2008
Lepidothrix velutina


8-11 cm, as most Manakins a bird with rounded body and very short tail

  • Body and most of head deep velvety black
  • Crown to upper mantle bright blue


  • Upperparts green to bluish green
  • Face and side of head, as well as chin and throat greyish green
  • Breast and flanks dull green with more olive-grey on belly

Similar Species

Male Blue-capped Manakin (formerly conspecific, found east of the Andes) is less deeply black and especially with less black on the front; this species also differs (strongly) in vocalizations. Most other female Manakin species has less tendency to show bluish green colors.

Probably immature male given the greenish colors on parts of the body
Photo © by PanamaHarpy
Pipeline Road, Panama, 05 May 2016


Central America in Costa Rica and Panama as well as areas west of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador (in Colombia also east of western Andes but not further east).


Blue-capped Manakin and this species were formerly considered the same species under the name of Blue-crowned Manakin.


Two subspecies are recognized[1].

  • L. c. velutina:
  • L. c. minuscula:


Primary and secondary forest in areas below 1000 m asl in most of the range and up to 1400 m asl on the pacific slope of Costa Rica.


Likely to join mixed species feeding flocks. Food includes small berries and fruit, as well as insects (perhaps mainly when feeding young?). Food is captured with sallying out from a perch.


The most persistent sound given by both sexes is a soft trill of even pitch or more frequently starting with a couple of sounds of lower pitch. A male-specific sound is described as k'wek or chu-wak.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.1)_red. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Snow, D. and G. M. Kirwan (2022). Velvety Manakin (Lepidothrix velutina), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bucman1.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

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