From the family-Campephagidae
For those of you who have done Birding in Malaysia, we all agree that seeing a flock Minivets is always a welcoming sign. First of all, these are brightly colored birds, red for the male and female are in yellow are leaders in a bird waves, Of course the combined calls would also cheer up the moods. Birds which are classified under the main group of Campephagidae and birds that fall within this group and could be be sighted in Malaysia includes:-
5 Species of Cuckooshrikes
1 species of Pied triller
2 species of Flycatchershrikes
All birds, in the group have longish tails and feed mainly on insects on the canopy of the forest. At times when needed, they get down to the ground level. This habits of the birds, using the colorful Minivets as an example, are that they difficult birds to encounter or can only be seen at odd occasions. They are constantly on the move and usually not in some fixed location where we could expect them. Most of the bird have un exciting color but in plain white, black or grey and concealed by foliages where they use as hides.
Then in great contrast, there would be this group of Minivets in strong bright color. Almost all of them are red a\or yellow
except one species having the expected white & black. The species as listed for Malaysia are these 4 species
|1. Ashy Minivet|
2. Brown-rumped Minivet
|.3 Fiery Minivet|
|4. Gray-chinned Minivet|
|5. Rosy Minivet|
In my years of outings, I have recorded these Minivets. The Ashy Minivets has the conventional pastel colors of white with grey which is against the norm for Minivet otheriwse all other Minivets, the males are in brilliant red while the female in equally bright yellow. What a welcoming sight to meet up with them, the moment that we were always waiting for bird waves. The down sided is that they were always in the canopy level and their movements are always so swift and very brief perches, way beyond the reaches of the common cameras.
While all Minivets, red or yellow, look fairly alike and it becomes a daunting task to make an instant ID when meeting up with them in the field, But that apprehension need not be the situation.
Study the various species of Minivet carefully, understand the family's habitats. Once conversant with their habitats, at where you are you can almost be certain which type is likely to appear in the area. There is only one. Then the diagnostic sign to re-affirm what we already know.
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