White-collared Manakin nest

On July 6 I accompanied John and Sean Beer on an inspiring walk from Paso Marcos upriver on the Río Pacuare, which is the prime rafting and kayaking river in the Turrialba area now that the Rio Reventazón has been dammed. There are no rafters and kayakers on these upper reaches where the river descends from Cabécar indigenous lands. Middle-elevation bird species are abundant here, and although some of the area has smallholdings with pastures there is still plenty of forest and there are magnificent views of the river.

The common species of manakin in the Turrialba area is the White-collared Manakin (Manacus candei), a Caribbean lowland species. The males betray their presence by making snapping sounds with their wings. Manakins do not form pairs and the males do not participate in the nest-building or in rearing the young. Here is a nice shot of a male taken on another occasion in same area:

Manakin, White-collarded, male Rio Tuis (1)

Male White-collared Manakin at Rio Tuis, courtesy of John Beer

On this excursion we did not catch a glimpse of any males but found a female busy building a nest low down at the side of the path. By the time we returned for a second excursion the nest was complete.

Manakin, White-collarded, female on nest, Paso Marcos, Pacuare (2)

Female White-collared Manakin sitting on the nest after its construction

It contained two beautiful eggs:

Manakin, White-collarded, nest, Paso Marcos, Pacuare (4)

White-collared Manakin nest near Paso Marcos

Unfortunately the story does not have a happy ending because a third visit found the nest site destroyed. We did see a female nearby but no sign of any young.

The species list for the first excursion with details of 51 species identified can be found at:

http://ebird.org/ebird/camerica/view/checklist/S38006645

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