Sunday, 6 February 2011

Fiery minivet

Pericrocotus igneus

Photo by Neon Rosell (Philippine Bird Photography Forum)

Common name:
fiery minivet (en); minivete-flamejante (pt); minivet flamboyant (fr); minivete encendido (es); feuermennigvogel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Campephagidae

This Asian species is found in southern Myanmar, southern Thailand, and parts of Malaysia and Brunei, as well as the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo and the Palawan Province islands of the Philippines.

Fiery minivets are 15-16,5 cm long and weigh 14-16 g.

They are found in the canopies of forests and along forest edges, but it will also occupy pine plantations and casuarina groves. This species is most common in lowlands, but they are also sighted in the mountain forests of Sumatra up to an altitude of 2.700 m. They also inhabit coastal mangrove swamps.

This species is largely insectivorous, mostly taking moths and caterpillars.

Fiery minivets breed in different seasons at different parts of their range, in the Philippines they breed during the dry season, in December, while in Malaysia they breed during the rainy season, starting in May. These birds are believed to be monogamous, with mated pairs working together to build a cup-shaped nest of fine plant parts, spider webs, and lichens, fungus, that they place high in a tree. There the female lays 2 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 14-16 days. Both sexes care for the young until fledging, which takes place 2-3 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status - NT (Near Threatened)
Although the global population is yet to be quantified, this species is believed to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range. This species is mostly threatened by habitat loss as a result of forest clearance. Rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid, owing partly to the escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas. Forest fires have also had a damaging effect. Still, the magnitude of these threats may be allayed by the species tolerance of secondary forest.

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