Among the most outstanding species that can be found in the Karen Mogensen Reserve is the dancing long-tailed manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis), considered the third most beautiful bird in Costa Rica, according to a survey conducted.
The long-tailed manakin is only surpassed in beauty by the Resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) and the lesser spotted Ornate hawk-eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), ranked first and second respectively.
Long-tailed manakin male. Picture taken by Henry Gutiérrez
Long-tailed manakins are distributed from southern Mexico to the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, at elevations no higher than 1500 m above sea level.
The plumage of the male is the most colourful, being completely black with a blue back and red crown, with a long tail that adds between 10 and 15 cm to the body. On the other hand, the females of this species have predominantly olive green feathers.
Long-tailed manakin female (Chiroxiphia linearis). Foto by Jorge Obando.
The common name of this bird is derived from the onomatopoeia of the characteristic sound of its song; its preferred habitat is in the undergrowth of gallery forests and secondary forests. It feeds on fruits and insects.
Only the males sing, and to hear them, it is necessary to visit the Karen Mogensen Reserve in silence and pay close attention to the sounds.
One of the most characteristic features of this bird is its reproductive behaviour. Males in pairs or trios dance and sing to attract a female. This behaviour has a large number of steps, ranging from hopping with vertical flapping, to hopping and flapping with circular movements in the form of a "cartwheel"
The Karen Mogensen Reserve, being a natural wildlife corridor, provides shelter and feeding grounds for several species of birds in addition to the long-tailed manakin, in this small area it is possible to find a great variety of birds, with more than 220 different species throughout the year; Among them are the white-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa), the Pale-billed Woddpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis), the elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans), the turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa), the blue-throated Goldentail (Chlorestes eliciae), the black-and-white Owl (Strix nigrolineata), the white Hawk (Pseudastur albicollis), the king Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) and many other species.
turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa). Picture taken by Henry Gutiérrez.