Long-tailed Minivet

Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus ranges Afghanistan to Vietnam. Large breeding range in China, with laetus in southeastern Tibet, yvettae in western Yunnan, and ethologus in a tongue of territory including all of Yunnan and extending northeastward as far north as Hebei and Beijing. Requires wooded areas but in a variety of habitats, from lowlands to mountains and in broadleaf and evergreen forests; also in well-wooded parks and on cultivated land. Typical minivet behavior: Keeps to canopy, making aerial sallies for flying insects; often in flocks, sometimes large. Male closely resembles scarlet and short-billed minivet, with glossy, blue-black hood, mantle, wings, and (central) tail. Underparts scarlet, as are lower back, rump, uppertail coverts, and wing patches (wing-bar in flight). Black of throat less extensive than that of short-billed minivet. Female has yellow forehead, grey ear coverts, crown and nape, dark lores (extending as less distinctive eyeline behind eye), broken eye-ring, and grey mantle and scapulars (sometimes with greenish tinge). Scarlet-red in male replaced by bright yellow. Throat a paler yellow and chin whitish. Scarlet minivet has red (male) or yellow (female) spots on tertials and secondaries and is larger with a proportionately shorter tail. Wing patch of long-tailed has two slashes, but main wing patch of scarlet and short-billed has only one. Juvenile like female but scaly on crown, nape, mantle, flanks, and breast. Juvenile paler below than juvenile scarlet; distinguished with difficulty from juvenile short-billed. Immature male replaces yellow with orange. Bill short, black; feet black. Distinctive sweet, thin, disyllabic call, sometimes combined with a trilling start. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

Go to Birds of China page

Reach us: info@shanghaibirding.com

Be notified every time we post. Send an email with “Subscribe” as the subject to info@shanghaibirding.com

Donate to Shanghai Birding!