Swinhoe’s Minivet

Swinhoe's Minivet
Swinhoe’s Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis, Tianmu Mountains (30.184555, 119.472668), Zhejiang, China, May. (Craig Brelsford)

Swinhoe’s Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis breeds across most of China south of Yangtze and as far north as Gansu and east as Jiangsu. Uncommon passage migrant and possible breeder Shanghai. Winters Yunnan and Southeast Asia. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Deciduous and pine woodlands, to 1500 m (4,920 ft.). Usually in canopy foraging for insects; sometimes in flocks. ID & COMPARISON Male has white forehead, with white extending as eyebrow behind eye. Lores black. Hindcrown, ear coverts, nape, and mantle grey; lower back and rump brownish. Chin, cheeks, sides of neck, and throat white; underparts white with brownish wash. Central tail feathers black; rest of tail mostly white with broad black base. Female more drab and less distinct than male, often paler above, and with less white on forehead. Ashy Minivet P. divaricatus greyer above and whiter below, but females may look similar. Male Ashy Minivet has black midcrown, hindcrown, nape, and ear coverts. Juvenile Swinhoe’s similar to juvenile Ashy. Swinhoe’s-Rosy Minivet P. cantonensis x P. roseus hybrid male is patterned like Swinhoe’s but has hint of red on forecrown, wings, rump, tail, and underparts. In female hybrid, pale yellow replaces pink of male, but there is no yellowish tinge to forecrown. BARE PARTS Bill thick, black; feet black. VOICE Metallic trill similar to Ashy Minivet, but slightly shorter, and virtually indistinguishable from Rosy Minivet. — Craig Brelsford


shanghaibirding.com covers every species in the family Campephagidae in China. Click any link below:

Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris
Short-billed Minivet P. brevirostris
Long-tailed Minivet P. ethologus
Scarlet Minivet P. speciosus
Ashy Minivet P. divaricatus
Swinhoe’s Minivet P. cantonensis
Rosy Minivet P. roseus
Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Lalage melaschistos


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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