Sex steroids control vertebrate behavior by modulating neural circuits specialized for sex steroid sensitivity. In birds, receptors for androgens (AR) and estrogens (ERα) show conserved expression in neural circuits controlling copulatory and vocal behaviors. Male golden-collared manakins have become a model for evaluating hormonal control of complex physical courtship displays. These birds perform visually and acoustically elaborate displays involving considerable neuromuscular coordination. Androgens activate manakin courtship and AR are expressed widely in spinal circuits and peripheral muscles utilized in courtship. Using in situ hybridization, we report here the distributions of AR and ERα mRNA in the brains of golden-collared manakins. Overall patterns of AR and ERα mRNA expression resemble what has been observed in non-vocal learning species. Notably, however, we detected a large area of AR expression in the arcopallium, a forebrain region that contains a crucial premotor song nucleus in vocal learning species. These results support the idea that AR signaling both centrally and peripherally is responsible for the activation of male manakin courtship, and the arcopallium is likely a premotor site for AR-mediated displays.