Small Minivet      Pericrocotus  cinnamomeus


  • Pericrocotus : Greek word for perivery, all around;  krokotos-golden-yellow  derived from krokos- saffron
  • Cinnamomeus : Latin word for Cinnamon coloured

Vernacular Names: Hindi: ChotiBulalchashma, Rajalal, Rajelal, Saheli, Sans: Shudravishfuling, Pahari: Saheli, Pun: Chhotisaheli, Ben: Chhotosathsayali, Cachar: Dao ribigajao-i-aba, Naga: Ingorui, Guj: Nano rajalal, Mar: Chotaangarak/nikhar/ Gomet, Saheli, Te: Yerra kali-jitta, Kunkumpujitta, Mal: Teechinnan, Kan: Kiruchitra, Sinh: Kos-kurulla, Batugene-kurulla

Distribution in India: Widespread resident in India.

Description: Size of 16 cm; Wt. of 6–12 g. The male of nominate race is dark grey on lores, face to above eye, ear-coverts and chin to lower throat; forehead to back and scapulars are paler grey, rump and uppertail-coverts are rich reddish orange; upperwing is sooty black, greater coverts are tipped orange, remiges are with yellow flash on primaries, pale orange on secondaries. The innermost two rectrices are sooty black, outer four are mainly pale orange. The breast is bright orange, shading to yellow on belly and creamy yellow on undertail-coverts. The underwing-coverts are pale yellow; iris is dark brown; bill and legs are black. The female differs from male in having whitish forehead, narrow pale supercilium from base of bill to eye, white eyelids, paler grey crown to back and scapulars, duller orange rump that is tinged olive, wing markings all yellow, much reduced on greater coverts, throat is whitish, underparts are greyish white with yellow suffusion. The juvenile is like female, but cap to back, and lesser and median upperwing-coverts are browner, with whitish feather edges that are broadest on coverts, tertials edged and tipped whitish. The immature is like female, but young male lacks supercilium. Races vary mainly in depth of coloration and extent of bright colours:  race pallidus is much paler above, has red below restricted to narrow band below throat, upper flanks washed is yellowish, rest of underparts white, female also very pale, throat and underparts are entirely white or whitish; race peregrinus is intermediate between pallidus and nominate, rather dark grey above, throat blackish, mostly orange below, vent white, female is strongly washed yellow below; race vividus is darker above thanperegrinus, throat is blackish grey, breast and flanks are bright reddish-orange, belly and vent are yellow; race malabaricus is darker and more richly coloured than the nominate, dark slaty grey above, with glossy black throat, deep reddish orange below, orange-yellow on belly, female dark grey-brown above and extensively yellow on lower underparts; race thai resembles malabaricus, but male has throat dark grey;  race sacerdos has orange areas redder and more vivid; race saturatus is darkest race.

Habitat: It is found in forest, woodland, mangrove forest, thorn-forest, strand woodland,  scrub, orchards and other cultivated lands. It is found from lowlands up to 1600 m.

Food habits: It eats moths and caterpillars and other insects, like beetles and cicadas. The young at a nest are fed small spiders, caterpillars and other insects. It forages in parties in canopy; often joins mixed-species parties. It gleans leaves, and makes short sallies to catch flying prey.

Breeding habits: They breed in Feb–Nov in India and Apr in Jul in Bangladesh;. The nest is constructed by both sexes over period of 7 days. The nest is a small, deep, neat cup of fine twigs, grass stems, lichens, dead leaves or bark, lined with rootlets and bound with cobwebs, attached to tree branch or fork`above ground. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The incubation is by female provisioned by male;. The incubation period is 11 days and fledging period is 12 days.