Golden-collared Manakin

Golden-collared Manakin
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

I walk into the forest behind my cabin, across two small meadows sparkling with butterflies and wild tropical flowers, down a little hill to the beginning of a narrow trail into the dark forest where I hear a clicking or popping sound, kind of like popcorn popping. Into the thick forest I find these beautiful little birds, the male Golden-collared Manakin. I saw only one female, much more reclusive and she was a solid olive-drab green color like the male’s lower breast/tummy and back. I was unable to get a photo of a female. Even at 3 pm the forest is dark, thick, and thus not conducive for photographs, though it is the males who come into the openings and who are purposefully showing off to attract the females. Yet when the dance starts, they are too fast to capture activity – see last 2 photos.

Golden-collared Manakin
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

In the forest I found 3 of these little clearings, called Manakin Leks
where the male has removed all leaves for his big dance show every afternoon.
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Golden-collared Manakin
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Golden-collared Manakin 
The male starts his dance by perching sideways on a vertical young tree.
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Faster than I can capture on my camera he pops like popcorn from stem to limb back and forth
across and around the little clearing with the clicking or popping sounds that together with
the color and fast movement are intended to attract a female Golden-collared Manakin. Incredible!

In Corcovado National Park Costa Rica I saw the Red-capped Manakin male do his “Michael Jackson Dance” to likewise attract females, but this one was even more kinetic with several males in several clearings doing their dances at the same time and the forest reverberating with the popcorn sounds. Cool! And not 50 yards behind my cabin at Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge. Then I later discovered I had photographed an Orange-collared Manakin at Carara National Park in Costa Rica which looks almost like the above fellow with the orange color added to his neck. Interesting! 
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
Unfortunately tonight is the 7th and last night here! Tomorrow I start early on the combination boat and bus trips back home in Costa Rica – an all day trek! So no post tomorrow, then I will continue my reports on this fantastic nature place in nearby Northern Panama. AND in the next week I may be transferring my blog from Blogger to WordPress, so get ready for a slight change in the look and feel of the blog which will then be a part of my new web page at charliedoggett.net 
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