Pericrocotus peregrinus, Lin.
276. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 423 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 465 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 394; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 125 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 65.
THE SMALL MINIVET.
Length, 6.4; wing, 2.7; "expanse, 8.5 ; tail, 3; tarsus, 0.9; bill at front, 0.3.
Bill black; irides brown ; legs black.
Male. :- Head, nape, and back, ashy; lores, chin, throat, and ears, blackish; wings and tail dusky-black, the former with an orange stripe formed by a central band on all the primaries (except the first three), and the secondaries orange on the outer, yellow on the inner web; tail, with the four outer feathers on each side, widely tipped with orange ; breast, upper part of abdomen, flanks, and rump, rich scarlet or aurora-red, fading to yellow on the lower abdomen and under tail-coverts, and whitish on the vent.
The female differs in having the eyestreak, sides of forehead, chin, throat, and lower parts whitish, tinged with yellow on the breast, abdomen, flanks, and under tail-coverts; the wings and tail are dingier black, and the wing-spot is yellow ; the under tail-coverts of the wing are yellow in both sexes ; tail as in the male, but the colors are not quite so bright.
The Small Minivet is a common permanent resident throughout the region.
It breeds during the months of June, July and August. The nest is placed high up, in a fork in a tree, generally a mango; it is a well made, compact, deepish cup-shaped nest, composed of fine twigs, grass roots, lichens, dead leaves and pieces of bark, which assimilate in color with the bark of the tree, and make it an exceedingly hard nest to find. The eggs are of a rather broad oval shape, pale greenish-white in color, more or less spotted and blotched with brownish-red. They measure 0.67 inches in length by 0.53 in breadth.