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

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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.

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