Family Manakins (Pipridae)

Least Concern

White-crowned Manakin (Pseudopipra pipra)


French: Manakin à tête blanche German: Weißscheitelpipra Spanish: Saltarín coroniblanco

[Parus] Pipra


, 1758,



Vocal differences exist in varying degrees among taxa, and a study#R sampling populations of ten races found at least seven groups differentiated by the vocalizations given during lekking displays, suggesting that they could be different species; this arrangement adopted here to present subspecies groups. The most distinct groups seem to be nominate pipra, whose song has by far the highest maximum and minimum frequencies and the longest drawn-out buzzy note, and coracina, whose song has lowest maximum and minimum frequencies and lowest frequency range#R; both these taxa have moderately distinctive females, and genetically are relatively distant from each other#R; coracina, moreover, is nearly parapatric with lowland populations, from which it also differs in display behaviour#R#R; further study required. Thirteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. anthracina (Ridgway, 1906) – Western White-crowned Manakin – C & E Costa Rica and W Panama (W of Canal Zone).
  • P. p. minima (Chapman, 1917) – SW Colombia on W side of W Andes (Valle and Cauca).
  • P. p. bolivari (Meyer de Schauensee, 1950) – NW Colombia (Córdoba E to S Bolívar).
  • P. p. unica (Meyer de Schauensee, 1945) – Colombian White-crowned Manakin – subtropical zone of NC & S Colombia (Magdalena Valley S to Huila).
  • P. p. coracina (P. L. Sclater, 1856) – Andean White-crowned Manakin – NW Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá, and SE Lara S to SE Táchira) S, on E slope of E Andes, to E Ecuador and NC Peru (N of R Marañón).
  • P. p. occulta (J. T. Zimmer, 1936) – Foothill White-crowned Manakin – NC Peru on E side of C Andes (San Martín to Huánuco); recorded in extreme SE Ecuador#R.
  • P. p. pipra (Linnaeus, 1758) – Northern White-crowned Manakin – S & E Venezuela, the Guianas, and lowland E Colombia and Brazil mainly N of Amazon (E to Amapá, crossing to S bank at Tefé).
  • P. p. discolor (J. T. Zimmer, 1936) – NE Peru; perhaps adjacent E Ecuador#R.
  • P. p. pygmaea (J. T. Zimmer, 1936) – lower R Huallaga, in NC Peru.
  • P. p. comata (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1894) – Southern White-crowned Manakin – EC Peru (S Pasco S to N Cuzco).
  • P. p. microlopha (J. T. Zimmer, 1929) – E Peru (S of R Marañón) and W Brazil (S of R Amazon E to, at least, R Madeira).
  • P. p. separabilis (J. T. Zimmer, 1936) – S side of lower Amazon from R Tapajós E to N Maranhão.
  • P. p. cephaleucos (Thunberg, 1822) – Atlantic White-crowned Manakin – coastal E Brazil (S Bahia S to Rio de Janeiro).
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; male average 11 g, female 12·8 g (pipra), male average 10·6 g, female 11 g (separabilis), sexes combined average 14 g (... read more


    Male call varies geographically: nominate race a thin, insect-like “chrrrrrr”, lasting... read more


    Humid forest and adjacent tall secondary woodland. Lowlands and mountains, to 1600 m in Andes;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small fruits and insects. In French Guiana fruits mainly of Melastomataceae, with Rubiaceae next in importance. Items plucked or snatched... read more


    Egg-laying in Oct in Surinam, in Feb–May, Aug and Oct in French Guiana; in Brazil, Jun–Oct in Belém area and Nov in... read more


    Resident. In Costa Rica, occasionally descends to lower altitudes during wet season. In radio-... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in much of E part of range; generally less common and more local in W. Isolated race cephaleucos in coastal E Brazil... read more

    Recommended citation

    Snow, D. (2020). White-crowned Manakin (Pseudopipra pipra). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).