When Grimes kills a female manbird but gets stained by her death spray, he becomes marked by all the males from her flock until he kill her mate as well. He finds Magdalena who sew a manbird costume onto his skin so that he acts as one and goes on to enter manbird fights all across the rooftops of New York City.
As Grimes always takes a sock from the manbird who has lost the fight, he is known as "The Collector". Magdalena sells him to Randall Skeffington after his first fight. The Collector later finds out that the mate of the female he killed is the manbird champion Arturo.
After the Collector has won many fights, Callie Maggotbone, Zazzerbos and Gary forces Randall to let the Collector fight for them. They arrange a fight at Madison Square Garden where the Collector finally succeeds in killing Arturo.