(751) Pericrocotus cinereus.
The Ashy Minivet.
Pericrocotus cinereus Lafresn., Rev. Zool., viii, p. 94 (1845) (Luzon, Philippines); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 489.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Adult male. Lores, a line across the forehead next the bill, posterior crown, nape and part of the ear-coverts black; forehead and anterior crown, chin, cheeks, part of the ear-coverts and whole lower plumage white, washed with ashy on the flanks and breast; upper plumage dark ashy-grey; wing-coverts dark brown, edged with ashy; primaries dark brown, ail but the first four edged with grey and with a concealed white speculum ; inner secondaries grey on the outer webs, blackish on the inner; four central tail-feathers black, the lateral feathers white with a diagonal black base.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; bill and feet black.
Measurements. Total length about 200 mm.; wing 95 to 101 mm.; tail 86 to 94 mm.; tarsus about 17 mm,; culmen about 16 mm.
Female. Paler than the male, no black on the head and the white forehead reduced to a mere trace; the lores and frontal line are dark brown ; greater wing-coverts and inner secondaries tipped with white.
Distribution. Breeding in Japan, Amur and possibly Northern China, and in Winter extending to South China, the Indo-Chinese countries, Philippines, Sumatra, Borneo, Malay Peninsula, entering South Burma as a very rare straggler only.
Nidification. Owston found this Minivet breeding in great numbers about Mount Fuji at and over 2,000 feet. The nest he describes as a " broad shallow cup of fine twigs, lined with grass and placed on boughs of trees between 15 and 30 feet from the ground." The eggs number four or five and in colour they seem to run through all the variations found in the eggs of Pericrocotus peregrinus. They measure about 21.5 x 15.6 mm. The breeding-season appears to, be May to June.
Habits. This is the most migratory of all the Minivets and there is no reason to think that they breed anywhere in the South, though Herbert found them paired before leaving Siam in April. La Touche records their passing through Chinkiang in April and May and says that none stay there to breed.