Long-tailed Manakin

 

Just got back from 2 weeks in Costa Rica and I found a ton of wildlife down there! Over 60 confirmed species of birds, 6 reptiles/amphibians, and 8 mammals.  This little gem is the Long-Tailed Manakin.  In order for this male to mate he, like every other animal,  needs to find a partner.  What makes this bird different is that partner is another male.  Long-tailed Manakins need a “wingman”.  They team up with another much younger male.  The older one is the Alpha, the younger is the Beta.  The Beta follows the Alpha’s lead and mimics his call.  The more unified the two birds song the farther the song travels and the better it sounds to the female.  The two males then dance by jumping over each other in a display of agility and strength.  The Alpha is the only one to mate, the Beta patiently waits his turn to be the next Alpha.

 

Gear: Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500 mm f/4.0-6.3

Settings: 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 800

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