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A photo of a Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus), male
Scarlet Minivet, Male

Scarlet Minivet

Pericrocotus speciosus

The Scarlet Minivet, scientifically known as Pericrocotus speciosus, is a small, vibrant passerine bird. Males are adorned with black upperparts and head, contrasted by striking scarlet underparts, tail edges, rump, and wing patches. Females, on the other hand, display a more subdued palette with greyish olive upperparts and yellow underparts, including the face, tail edges, rump, and wing patches. This species measures 20–22 cm in length and is equipped with a robust dark beak and elongated wings.

Identification Tips

To identify the male Scarlet Minivet, look for the combination of black and scarlet plumage, with the specific hue of scarlet varying across different populations. In some subspecies, such as those from the south Philippines, the scarlet may be replaced entirely by yellow. Females can be recognized by their grey upperparts and yellow underparts. The strong dark beak and long wings are also distinctive features of this species.


The Scarlet Minivet thrives in tropical southern Asia, favoring forests and other well-wooded habitats. These birds are particularly common in hilly regions and can also be found in gardens.


This species is widespread across tropical southern Asia, from Northeast India to southern China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.


Scarlet Minivets are known for their gleaning behavior, as they forage for insects high up in the forest canopy. They are often observed in small groups, sometimes joining mixed-species foraging flocks. Their approach to catching insects involves both flycatching and perching, occasionally beating their wings vigorously to disturb foliage and flush out their prey.

Song & Calls

The Scarlet Minivet's vocalizations consist of a pleasant whistling, contributing to the melodic symphony of the forest.


Nesting high in the treetops, the Scarlet Minivet constructs a cup-like nest woven from small twigs and reinforced with spiders' webs. The female typically lays two or three spotted pale green eggs and is primarily responsible for incubation. Both parents participate in raising the offspring.

Similar Species

The Orange Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) is a similar species that was once considered a subspecies of the Scarlet Minivet. It is important to note the geographic variations and potential for confusion with other Pericrocotus species.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Scarlet Minivet consists mainly of insects, which they glean from the foliage or catch in flight.

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Scarlet Minivet as Least Concern, indicating that the species does not currently face any significant threats to its survival.

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