The Wire-tailed Manakin’s dance may be one of the most impressive in the bird world, but it can’t be performed on just any dance floor. Like many other species with elaborate displays, the male very carefully selects his dance site relative to the sites of other males in the area. Together these sites are known as an exploded lek. Each male picks a location that is easily visible to females and then carefully maintains it, clearing away anything that might obscure the view or get in the way of his performance.

This video accompanies Chapter 9, Avian Mating and Social Behavior,, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by Timothy G Laman, Macaulay Library