As part of her MS thesis, Ghislaine Cardenas, co-advised by C. Daniel Cadena (Univ. de los Andes) and Bette Loiselle (Univ. Florida), described the display behavior, vocalizations, and social organization of the blue-backed manakin (Chiroxiphia pareola napensis) in Amazon of Ecuador at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station.  Males of blue-backed manakins display cooperatively for females in leks.  Females visit leks and may observe males cooperative displays sitting on or near the main display perches for seconds up to more than 20 minutes.  Females build the nests and raise young alone.  Males form dominance hierarchies with alpha males primarily dancing with a beta partner; such partnerships may last years and alpha males, almost without exception, are the sires of offspring.  Manakins are excellent models to study sexual selection where male-male competition and female choice are important mechanisms in determining reproductive success.  Studies of manakins at Tiputini have been part of a long-term study of birds at Tiputini Biodiversity Station by Bette Loiselle and John Blake, and their colleagues since 2001.  To see a bit of the blue-backed manakin cooperative dance, click here.