The Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus) is a very brightly coloured small bird you are very likely to see in South-east Asia.
They are small birds – 20–22 cm (7.9–8.7 in) long with a strong dark beak and long wings. The male has black upperparts and head, and scarlet underparts, tail edges, rump and wing patches. The shape and colour of the wing patches and the shade or orange in the male varies across populations. In the subspecies nigroluteus and marchesae from south Philippines the scarlet/orange is entirely replaced by yellow.
The female is grey above, with yellow underparts (including the face), tail edges, rump and wing patches.
I saw these birds in Coorg and Wayanad in several locations. They have an extremely large range so you are likely to see them on any birding trip in the Western Ghats of India (Central Asia) or all over South-east Asia.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD
Birds of the World
India Nature Watch
Check out this gorgeous Scarlet Minivet couple with their chicks!
There really isn’t much difference to the eco-tourist/birder between Coorg & Wayanad. The bird species you will see are pretty much the same. The two regions adjoin each other but Coorg is in the state of Karnataka and Wayanad is in the state of Kerala. In the map below, the grey shaded area is the Western Ghats, the red outline is roughly Coorg (Kodagu), the blue outline is Wayanad and the black outline is Mudumalai in the state of Tamil Nadu which also shares the same bird species. I thought for the purpose of this trip, we should try to sample them all!
We got Mr Muthanna to book us a taxi leaving from the guesthouse and dropping us off in Kalpetta, it turned out to be around $40-ish. We could have saved a bit of money by taking the bus from Kutta to Kalpetta but not enough to be worth the inconvenience. My back was still sore from the bumpy bus ride between Mysore and Coorg and I was dying for a massage.
On the map below, the 1st red dot represents Jungle Side Homestay, A = T Shettigeri, B = Kalpetta and the final red dot represents Grassroots, our home base in Wayanad.
SCENERY BETWEEN KUTTA AND KALPETTA
Once we were in Kalpetta, the taxi driver asked around for a massage place and was directed to Haritagiri Hotel & Ayurvedic Village. We both went for the ayurvedic massage which was only 1000 rupees – a bargain! The massage tables were pretty cool looking!
There was a small cage with some Budgies & Lovebirds near the restaurant. We had chicken biriyani for lunch after the massage which was pretty good!
Feeling refreshed, we went back to the main street to find a taxi to Grassroots. A friendly local who spoke English came to our rescue and helped us hire an auto-rickshaw for the 7 km trip.
The Vernal Hanging Parrot (Loriculus vernalis) is a small parrot which is a resident breeder in the Indian Subcontinent and some other areas of Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds, buds and blossoms that make up its diet. They frequent the Banyan tree for the fruit and Plantain trees for the nectar from the flowers.
Vernal Hanging Parrot shows where they get their name
This is a small, mainly green hanging parrot, only 14 cm long with a short tail. The adult male has a red rump and bill, and blue throat patch. The female has a green patch. Vernal Hanging Parrot is a bird of dry jungle and cultivation. It nests in holes in trees, laying 2-4 white eggs. Immature birds have a duller rump, and lack the throat patch. Vernal Hanging Parrot is less gregarious than some of its relatives, and is usually in small groups outside the breeding season. Its flight is swift and direct, and the call is a raucous chattering.