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Why We Never See Her

I’m sure most of you who are looking at the thumbnail for this blog post must be wondering why I’m posting this image. It sure doesn’t look like much, and probably only looks like a dark smudge if you’re seeing it on a mobile device. Well, a closer look would reveal *gasp* a bird.

This nondescript bird that blends so well into its surroundings is in fact a Manakin. Manakins are well known for being the extravagant dancers of the neotropics, well, the males are. Females are hardly ever seen, but they are the ones who always stir the males into a frenzy. Photographers also tend to concentrate on the males, for obvious reasons I’d say. Check T&T’s three species of manakins here (fellas only).

But, there is beauty in all things. Do open this image large to properly appreciate all her subtle shades of olive, and a light facial pattern I had never noticed until I made this image. Her dark coloured iris (as well as the call she made) is her ID card – this is a female White-bearded Manakin, so close but still barely visible.

white bearded manakin

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