Short-billed minivet

   ›      ›   Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris

The short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) belongs to the family of cuckooshrikes and minivets, the Campephagidae.

The short-billed minivet species is distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China. These minivet species inhabit open deciduous and evergreen forests. These minivets are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Short-billed Minivet Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) is a medium-sized minivet, measuring 19 to 20 cm in length and weighing 15 to 17 grams. These species are sexually dimorphic.

The male nominate short-billed minivet has glossy bluish black head, face, nape, throat, upper breast, mantle and scapulars. The back, rump and uppertail-coverts are deep crimson. There is slash of red on the wings.

The female has golden yellow forehead. The crown, ear coverts and mantle are grayish yellow. The throat, breast and underparts are bright yellow. The dark gray wings have yellow patch. The juveniles have duller plumage.

The bill is short, straight and black in color. The irises are blackish in males and deep brown in females. The eye ring is black in males and pale yellow in females. The legs are blackish. The call of these minivet species is a high pitched, loud, whistling "tsuuuit” sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris
1.Birds of India - Image of Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris by Francesco Veronesi

Birds of India - Photo of Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris
2.Indian birds - Picture of Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris by Michael Gillam

Indian birds - Image of Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris
3.Birds of India - Photo of Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris by Dr. Raju Kasambe

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These short-billed minivets are distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China.

The short-billed minivet nominate subspecies P. b. brevirostris is distributed in central and eastern Himalayas in Nepal and northeast India, west Assam (India) and south China (Tibet, southeast Xizang and northwest Yunnan provinces).

The short-billed minivet subspecies P. b. anthoides is distributed in north and central Laos, northern Vietnam and southeast Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi and northern Guangdong provinces in southern China.

The short-billed minivet subspecies P. b. affinis is distributed in northeast India, north Myanmar and southern China (Sichuan, Yunnan). The subspecies P. b. neglectus is distributed in southeast Myanmar and northwest Thailand.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these short-billed minivet species in Laos are, Phou Ahyon, Nam Xam, Nam Ha, Nam Et, Nakai-Nam Theun, Dong Ampham and Eastern Bolikhamxay Mountains.

The IBA of these short-billed minivet species in Nepal are, Makalu Barun National Park, Annapurna Conservation Area, Mai Valley forests, Bardia National Park, Langtang National Park, Kanchenjungha Conservation Area and Dang Deukhuri foothill forests.

Ecosystem and habitat

These short-billed minivet species have moderate forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 1000 to 2700 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these minivet species include heavily degraded tropical and subtropical forests.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these minivet species include tropical and subtropical dry forests, tropical and subtropical moist montane forests and moist lowland forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these short-billed minivet species consists mainly of insects. Insects, insect larvae and plant material like buds are their primary food. They forage among foliage, joining mixed-species foraging flocks.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these short-billed minivets is during March and April in most of their range. These species are monogamous. They nest on horizontal outer branches of trees, about ten meters above the ground.

Their nest is a cup-like structure built with moss and lichen. The typical clutch contains three eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

These short-billed minivet species are non-migratory resident birds. They disperse locally after breeding. The populations in higher altitudes descent to lower levels during winter.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Short-billed minivet - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Pericrocotus brevirostris
  • Species author: (Vigors, 1831)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Muscipeta brevirostris Vigors, 1831
  • Family: Campephagidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Short-billed minivet, Chinese: 短嘴山椒鸟, French: Minivet à bec court, German: Kurzschnabel-Mennigvogel, Spanish: Minivet piquicorto, Russian: Короткоклювый длиннохвостый личинкоед, Japanese: コバシベニサンショウクイ
  • Other names: Short billed Minivet
  • Distribution: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, insect larvae, plant material
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be fairly common to locally common. The generation length is not known. Its distribution size is about 3,360,000

Habitat alteration and destruction, deforestation, human intrusions and disturbance and trapping adult and juveniles for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these minivet species.

IUCN and CITES status

The short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Pericrocotus brevirostris
Species:P. brevirostris
Binomial name:Pericrocotus brevirostris
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) is closely related to the long-tailed minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus) and the Sunda minivet (Pericrocotus miniatus).

The four recognized subspecies of the short-billed minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) are: P. b. brevirostris (Vigors, 1831), P. b. anthoides Stresemann, 1923, P. b. neglectus A. O. Hume, 1877 and P. b. affinis (McClelland, 1840).
Popular posts on Birds of India
Beach thick-knee Tawny owl
Blue-eared barbet Fulvous-breasted woodpecker
Blue-winged pitta Pintail snipe
European golden-plover Whimbrel
Great crested tern Ashy-headed green pigeon
Northern lapwing Grey (black-bellied) plover
Eurasian curlew River tern
Sirkeer malkoha Asian barred owlet
White-cheeked barbet Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker
Indian pitta Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike
Black-winged cuckooshrike Sociable lapwing
Andaman green pigeon Boreal owl
Coppersmith barbet Darjeeling woodpecker
Crab-plover Collared owlet
Lineated barbet White-browed piculet
Western hooded pitta Common woodshrike
White-breasted woodswallow Marshall's iora
Pied avocet Common ringed plover
Spotted redshank Roseate tern
Blue-faced malkoha Himalayan owl
Brown-headed barbet Speckled piculet
Silver-breasted broadbill Blue pitta
Malabar woodshrike Ashy woodswallow
Wood snipe Andaman hawk-owl
Great spotted woodpecker Black-winged stilt
Tawny owl Great barbet
Yellow-rumped honeyguide Eurasian wryneck
Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo Red turtle dove
Black-headed gull Collared pratincole
Brown-fronted woodpecker Pied triller

1.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 3/24/18
2.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Michael Gillam | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 3/24/18
3.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Dr. Raju Kasambe | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 3/24/18
Current topic in Birds of India: Short-billed minivet - Pericrocotus brevirostris.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.