Helmeted Manakin in Pantanal

HelmpipraThe Helmeted Manakin  (Antilophia galeata) is one of the most striking and colorful birds of Brazilian forests. Several species of Manakins occur from the Amazon or Atlantic Forest, but the Helmeted Manakin –  the soldadinho in Portugues – is an exclusive species of riparian forests of the central-western Brazilian and the forests of the Pantanal lowland, with only a small distribution area in Bolivia and Paraguay.

As in most species of the family, the male is very flashy. Body all black, contrasting with the living red of the top of the head and back. A longer feathery wad is held high or over the beak, being marked by the shape and giving clue to the common name of the bird. The female and the young males are uniform green except for the beak, legs and eyes. The forehead feathers are longer and held erect, though smaller than the adult male. The juvenile male takes three years to moult in the characteristic plumage. In the meantime, males can be observed with parts of the colored plumage and the remainder greenish.

They feed on small fruits and insects, captured from low strata to the highest parts of the trees. Unlike other birds of this family, the male mates with at least one female and remains in the breeding territory throughout the entire cycle. He has no involvement in rearing and caring of the offspring, but the male is always active, singing and chasing away other adult males in furious flights below the canopy.

The male sings the whole year, less so during the moulting period (January to April / May). It is a cheerful, whistled and flashy song, composed of five separate parts. The first is a separate note from the others, short and slow. The others are in rapid sequence. In the reproductive age, it responds to imitations or recordings of its song.

The location of the photo-shot was taken on the farm Pouso Alegre. This is a pousada which is very well situated 7 km away from the Transpantaneira. The location is only 33 km south of Pocone in the northern Pantanal. The hole pousada is a great nature-area with original landscape and extensive cattle ranching. A paradise for the keen birdwatcher as well as for the beginner in birdwatching.

The owner is present much of the time, and is a dedicated naturalist. If you are birders you will be pleased with the birding opportunities, including Hyacinth Macaws in front of the porch. On the way you will see of Jabiru storks, herons and raptors a lot. You can go on other guided hikes or horseback rides. It’s all custom and small-scale. The scenery is beautiful.

Bird-lens is mainly a website to suit the growing demand for top shots of the species of the Western Palearctic. But of interest is the phenomenon of bird migration in general. Trips to tourist and non-tourist spots like Thailand or the Seychelles to capture images of rare migrating birds are part of the program and were already very successful. More nice images you find in the gallery or in the “Pictures Shop”. Just give me a message, if Bird-lens could serve you with images also outside the range of the Western Palearctic. Images of e.g. South America are well on stock, too. The nice images you find in in the gallery are only a first impression, what you might find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” too. Just give bird-lens.com a message, if bird-lens.com could serve you with an image needed before other pictures are online.

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