734. Pericrocotus flammeus fraterculus

(734) Pericrocotus flammeus fraterculus * Swinhoe.
Pericrocotus speciosus fraterculus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 320.
Periocrotus flammeus fraterculus, ibid. vol. viii, p. 636.
The Burmese Scarlet Minivet is found in Assam in the Cachar Hills, extending thence through Manipur and practically all Burma South to the Tenasserim Province and East through the Indo¬-Chinese countries to W. China and Hainan.
* It is extremely difficult to work out the races of this Minivet, and I have, doubtless, included under this name several races which might with justice be separated. Robinson and Kloss (Journ. Siam Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. v, p. 246, 1924) have reviewed the species, under the name P. speciosus flammiceps, without clearing the matter up. Bangs named P. yvettoe from N.E. Burma (Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. vol. xliv, p. 383, 1921). La Touche recognizes P. s. bakeri from Yunnan (Bull. B. O. C, vol. xliii, p. 54, 1922). Robinson and Kloss state, possibly quite correctly, that fraterculus from Hainan does not extend to Assam or Burma at all. Stresemann, the last to revise the species, extends P. f. bakeri to the greater part of Burma, and it is possible that all the nidification now described should, therefore, be under that name.
The first nest of this Minivet, and the only one taken by myself, was found on the 31st May, 1891, at Laisung, North Cachar Hills, in a comparatively open space with stunted and dead trees, plentiful undergrowth and dense humid forest all round within a couple of hundred yards. The elevation was about 4,000 feet, the side of a deep valley with steep mountains on all sides running another 2,000 feet higher, clothed with virgin forest, whilst below ran the Laisung stream, flashing clear water, now racing down rapids and, ever and anon, creeping along in deep and shady pools. In these beautiful surroundings the Minivets had selected a small dead tree, probably an Oak (? sp.), and at about 10 feet from the ground had built their lovely little nest in a fork of a rotten branch. The nest was a broad, shallow saucer measuring outwardly about 3.2 inches across by 1.5 inch deep, and inwardly 2.5 inches by 1 inch. It was made of fine grasses, fern- and moss-roots, a few fine soft twigs and thin weed-stalks, all interwoven and massed closely together with innumerable cobwebs, and then completely covered with white and grey lichen, the same as that which grew in scattered masses over the whole tree. It would have been quite impossible to have found the nest had not the male bird flown off it when we were only a yard or two away. When we had spotted the nest, a Naga went up the tree and prepared nooses and, within five minutes, the cock bird was back and caught. The nest contained two eggs similar to the pale type of egg of P. f. speciosus, but measuring 23.0 x 15.8 and 22.2 x 15.3 mm.
Another nest, taken by Dr. Coltart at Margherita on the 16th May, at 1,000 feet, and a third, taken by a Naga, at 6,000 feet, near Hangrum, in the North Cachar Hills, on the 12th June, were exactly similar, but Coltart’s nest was covered with a dark grey green lichen taken from that which grew all round it.
The eggs from both these nests are very small. They may be just abnormally small yet correctly identified eggs, and the Naga, who brought me the second nest also brought a cock bird which he said he had captured on it. These four eggs measure only 20.0 x 14.7 and 20.0 x 15.0 mm. (Coltart) and 20.3 x 14.3 and 20.0 x 15.0 (Naga). In type they are exactly like better-spotted specimens of the pale eggs of speciosus taken by Whymper, and the only other Minivet’s eggs they resemble are those of P. solaris, also very common where the Naga took his nest, but not so in Margherita.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
734. Pericrocotus flammeus fraterculus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Burmese Scarlet Minivet
Pericrocotus speciosus fraterculus
Vol. 2

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