(742) Pericrocotus Solaris Solaris.
The Yellow-throated Minivet.
Pericrocotus Solaris Blyth, J. A. S. B., xv, p. 310 (1846) (Darjiling) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 485.
Vernacular names. Dao tisha raja gaherba, Dao ribi gaherba (Cachari).
Description.— Adult male. The upper part of the head, back, scapulars and wing-coverts slaty-black; rump and upper tail-coverts scarlet-crimson; outer webs of 5th and 6th primaries nearly all scarlet and bases of all quills except first four primaries scarlet-crimson; central rectrices wholly black, next pair black with broad red tips and more or less of the outer webs black; lateral tail-feathers more and more red and less and less black; sides of head and neck grey; chin greyish white; throat orange-yellow ; remainder of lower plumage scarlet, not quite so deep as the rump.
Colours of soft parts. Iris bright hazel to deep brown ; bill, legs and feet black.
Measurements. Total length about 175 mm.; wing 80 to 90 mm.; tail 83 to 97 mm.; tarsus about 15 mm.; culmen about 10 mm.
Female. Head, neck and upper back ashy-grey, changing to olive-green on the lower back, scapulars and wing-coverts and to yellow on the upper tail-coverts ; wings and tail as in the male but the yellow replaced by red; lores, cheeks, ear-coverts and chin grey; remainder of lower plumage bright yellow.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the male.
Nestling brown-grey above narrowly barred with pale fulvous and dark brown.
Distribution. Nepal to Eastern Assam, both North and South of the Brahmaputra, Manipur, Burma, Chin and Kachin Hills to Tenasserim.
Nidification. The Yellow-throated Minivet breeds in the hills South of the Brahmaputra in May and June up to at least 7,000 feet, being found up to 10,000 in the Himalayas in Sikkim, etc.
It makes the usual Minivet nest, a shallow cup about 3x1 inches externally by about 2.75 x.75 inches internally, only differing from others of the genus in having less lichen used externally. It breeds in dense evergreen-forest and also in the stunted oak-forest growing at 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Three eggs in my collection are a very pale sea-green, thinly marked with pale rufous-red; they measure about 19.2 x 14.2 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus. These Minivets are generally found in Summer at a considerable elevation but in Winter they descend to the foot-hills and in Pegu Oates found it at sea-level. It consorts in flocks of six to a dozen birds and though, like other Minivets, it keeps much to the tops of trees it is most common on the stunted oaks growing in thin forest to a height of only 25 or 30 feet. It has the usual pleasant trilling call of the genus.