Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus)


French: Minivet oranor German: Zwergmennigvogel Spanish: Minivet chico

[Motacilla] cinnamomea


, 1766,

Sri Lanka


Sister to P. igneus#R; sometimes considered conspecific, but little evidence of interbreeding where ranges meet in peninsular Thailand, and different habitat preferences may prevent direct contact. View expressed in HBW that “isolated race saturatus possibly represents a different species, primarily on grounds of zoogeography” not supported by morphological evidence, and other avian taxa show similar ranges involving disjunct representatives on Java. Race peregrinus intergrades with pallidus and vividus in N Indian Subcontinent. Race separatus may be better included in vividus, as its supposedly large bill may be individually variable. Andaman population may merit treatment as separate race, for which name osmastoni recently proposed; further study required. Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. pallidus E. C. S. Baker, 1920 – Pakistan (Indus Valley) and NW India.
  • P. c. peregrinus (Linnaeus, 1766) – NW Himalayas and N India (Punjab S to N Madhya Pradesh, E to Bihar and N Odisha).
  • P. c. cinnamomeus (Linnaeus, 1766) – C & SE India (S from S Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and S Odisha) and Sri Lanka.
  • P. c. malabaricus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – SW India (Karnataka, S from Belgaum, S to Kerala).
  • P. c. vividus E. C. S. Baker, 1920 – C Himalayas, E India (West Bengal, Assam), Bangladesh, W & C Myanmar, SW & C Thailand, and Andaman Is.
  • P. c. thai Deignan, 1947 – NE Myanmar, N & NE Thailand, Laos.
  • P. c. sacerdos Riley, 1940 – Cambodia and S Vietnam.
  • P. c. separatus Deignan, 1947 – SE Myanmar and NW peninsular Thailand.
  • P. c. saturatus E. C. S. Baker, 1920 – Java and Bali.
  • Descriptive notes

    16 cm; 6–12 g. Male nominate race is dark grey on lores, face to above eye, ear-coverts and chin to lower throat; forehead to back and scapulars paler grey, rump and... read more


    Contact call a thin, drawn-out whistle, “tswee-eet” and “swee swee”,... read more


    Forest, woodland, mangrove forest, thorn-forest, strand woodland, casuarinas (Casuarina),... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes moths and caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and other insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and cicadas (Cicadidae); young at a nest in... read more


    Season Feb–Nov, mainly Apr–Sept, e.g. late Apr in Jul in Bangladesh; may be double-brooded in some areas. Nest constructed by... read more


    None known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Very common in suitable habitat over Indian Subcontinent; widespread and locally common in Bangladesh, but local in Pakistan and rare... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Small Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 January 2020).