With his vibrant electric blue attire, topped off by a bold red hat and orange legs, this bird is truly one-of-a-kind. Meet the Chiroxiphia caudata, also known as the swallow-tailed manakin or blue manakin, a small species belonging to the Pipridae family. Amongst all the Manakins, these birds sport the most blue in their plumage, earning them the nickname “swallow-tailed manakin”. Their wings, tail, and head are all black, except for their striking red cap, leaving their body almost entirely brilliant blue.
The male is more vividly colored in greenish-brown than the female. Young males look similar to adult females until they develop their striking red crown.
These feathered creatures primarily reside in the Atlantic Forests located in the northeastern parts of Argentina, eastern areas of Paraguay, and southeastern regions of Brazil.
Blue manakins thrive in habitats such as subtropical or tropical wet lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and severely degraded former forests.
Blue manakins mainly feed on insects, as well as small fruits and berries. Their feeding behavior often involves hovering near a branch or quickly darting up to grab their food before returning to their resting spot.
Male Manakins with blue backs exhibit cooperative mating behavior instead of competing for mates. The males sit next to each other and take turns leaping up and down while buzzing. When a female shows interest in one of the males, he moves under the other male and makes a vertical circle. The female then builds a nest using branches from a chosen tree and lays two white eggs with brown speckles. She incubates the eggs for up to 20 days and raises the chicks alone.
The bird in question is widely distributed and can be found in many different areas. It is also likely that the bird has a large number of individuals in its population. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the bird’s status is “least concern,” indicating that it is not at risk of extinction. Additionally, it appears that the bird’s population is remaining steady over time.