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Scarlet Minivet

Kingdom: Animalia    Phylum: Chordata   Class: Aves (Birds)    Order: Passeriformes    Family: Corvidae


Scarlet Minivet
Scarlet Minivet (Male) - image © Rajiv Lather

Scarlet Minivet - female
Scarlet Minivet (female)

Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) is a resident in Himalayas and hills of India. Five sub-species - P. f. speciosus, P. F. fraterculus, P. f. andamanensis, P. f. flammeus, and P. f. semiruber.

Size: 21 cm   Weight: 29 gm

Identification: The Scarlet Minivet is a songbird that is also known as the Orange Minivet. It is distinguished from other Minivets by its brilliant colored feathers, which are described as scarlet to a fiery orange color. The Scarlet Minivet has a strong beak that is half the size as its head. This bird's wings are long with each feather sticking out from the next. The Minivets feet are small and fragile. The length of the Minivet is about 20.3 cm, with the tail measuring 9.4cm and the wings being 9.1cm long.

The colors of the male are black and orange-red to scarlet. The female is described as gray and olive-yellow above, yellow below with 2 yellow bars on black wings. The juvenile male shares the same coloration as the female until it reaches maturity. The song of the Scarlet Minivet is described as a pleasant whistling sung in flight or perched.

Distribution: The Scarlet Minivet is found from Africa east to the Pacific Islands but the largest populations are found in the Indian subcontinent, southern China, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Scarlet Minivets live in forests and gardens. They are not considered a highly migratory bird.

Habit: The Minivet catches insects while in flight or while perched. It scares insects out of foliage by beating its wings hard and fast flushing out the prey. They are described as arboreal, keeping together in flocks of sometimes 30 or more birds.

Food: Scarlet Minivets feed on a variety of insects.

Breeding: The nesting period for the Scarlet Minivet is between April and July, there is slight variation of a month due to location. This bird nests high up in the treetops anywhere from 3-12 m (10 to 40 ft) up. The nest is a cup-like structure closely woven with small twigs and using spider-webs to increase the strength of the nest. Both male and female parents raise the offspring. The Scarlet Minivet eggs are pale green and spotted.


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