499. Pericrocotus roseus.
The Rosy Minivet.
Muscicapa rosea, Vieill. Nouv. Diet, d'Hist. Nat. xxi, p. 486 (1818). Pericrocotus roseus (Vieill.), Blyth, Cat. p. 193; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 141; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 422; Hume, N. & E. p. 184; Sharpe, S. F. iv, p. 210; Hume, S. F. v, p. 184; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 649; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 81; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 210; Hume, Cat. no. 275; Oates, B.B. i, p. 247; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 97 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 338. Pericrocotus intensior, Hume, S. F. v, p. 185 (1877).
Coloration. Male. Upper plumage ashy brown, darker on the head; the tips of the feathers on the rump and upper tail-coverts rosy red, varying in extent; wing-coverts dark brown, the greater ones tipped with scarlet; quills dark brown, all but the first four primaries with a scarlet patch across them ; later secondaries and tertiaries brown, the outer webs partially margined with scarlet; sides of the head ashy ; chin and throat whitish; remainder of lower plumage with axillaries and under wing-coverts rosy red; middle tail-feathers blackish, the others red with blackish bases.
Female. Dull brown above, and the rump olive-yellow margined with yellow and without a trace of red ; the portions which are red in the male are in the female everywhere replaced by pale yellow ; chin and throat dull, yellowish white.
Bill, legs, and feet black ; iris dark brown.
Length about 7; tail 3.5; wing 3.4; tarsus .6; bill from gape .75.
This species varies much in intensity of colouring according to locality. Birds from the north-west of India are the palest, and those from Tenasserim the richest in colour.
Distribution. The Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Assam, up to about 5000 feet; the N. W. Provinces,Oudh, and Bengal; Assam and its hill-ranges, extending down through Burma to Bassein, Rangoon, and Mergui.
The distribution of this species over the peninsula of India has not been ascertained with any degree of accuracy. Ball gives it, apparently with certainty, from Goomsur, Jeypore, and the Godavari valley. Jerdon records it from Malabar, and Lord A. Hay appears to have procured it in the hills dividing Tinnevelly from Travancore, as mentioned by Jerdon. I have seen no specimens collected in the localities recorded by Ball and Jerdon.
Habits, &c. Breeds in May and June, constructing a cup- shaped nest of very fine twigs and grass, coated with lichens and cobwebs, on a branch of a tree. The eggs are described as being greenish white, marked in various ways with brown and purple, and measuring about .8 by .6.