752. Pericrocotus cantonensis

(752) Pericrocotus cantonensis.

Swinhoe's Minivet.

Pericrocotus cantonensis Swinhoe, Ibis, 1861, p. 42 (Canton, China) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 490.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description.— Adult male. Forehead, anterior crown, chin, cheeks, throat and a semi-collar on the neck white; hinder part of crown, nape, back, scapulars and wing-coverts very dark ashy-brown ; rump and upper tad-coverts pale brown ; greater coverts sometimes obsoletely tipped grey; quills dark brown, an almost concealed white patch at the base of the inner primaries and outer secondaries; four central tail-feathers dark brown; lateral tail-feathers white with broad brown diagonal bases; lower plumage pale smoky-brown, darkest on the breast.

Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel; bill black, inside of mouth flesh-colour; legs and feet black.

Measurements. Total length about 200 mm.; wing 82 to 92 mm.; tail 83 to 90 mm.; tarsus about 15 to 16 mm.; culmen about 13 mm.

Female. Above like the male but with very little white on the forehead and the crown and back a little paler; wings and tail as in the male.

Distribution. Breeding in East and North-East China. In Winter to South China, Mally States, Indo-Chinese countries and occasionally into South Burma.

Nidification. Messrs. La Touche and Rickett found this bird breeding during May and June in Foochow and Chinkiang. The nests are described as beautifully neat little cups made of fine grass, moss, fibre, roots and pine-needles plastered over with cobwebs outside and decorated with lichen and a little moss. They are placed high' up in pine and other trees on the upper surface of a branch and not in a fork. The eggs number two to four and only differ from those of the preceding species in being smaller, thirty-six eggs average 19.8 x 15.3 mm.: maxima 21.8 X16.2 mm. ; minima 18.6 X 15.1 and 20.3 X 14.9 mm.

Habits. This Minivet is a frequenter both of woods and open country, breeding either in trees in cultivated land, orchards, etc., or in pine and other forests. It is migratory certainly to some extent but at present we do not know to what extent it is resident in South and South-West China. It associates in flocks and has similar voice, flight, diet, etc., to other species of Minivets.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
752. Pericrocotus cantonensis
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Swinhoes Minivet
Swinhoe's Minivet
Pericrocotus cantonensis
Vol. 2

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