Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Stephanie M. Doucet


Ecology, Behavioral Sciences



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Although a considerable amount of research has been conducted on the development of bird song, the development of visual displays is still poorly understood. In this thesis, I investigate the coordinated courtship displays of male long-tailed manakins ( Chiroxiphia linearis ). By scoring complex behaviours from video recordings, I characterize the courtship display and dominance hierarchy in detail. I show that courtship is highly stereotyped and that the performance of specific subcomponents of the display can predict courtship success. I also provide evidence of an age-graded dominance hierarchy among young males. Finally, I show that courtship display differs significantly between older and younger males, and that certain display elements may develop over time. My research suggests that social interactions between males may be important in the maintenance of lek dynamics, and that social learning may play a role in the development of coordinated display in long-tailed manakins.