Blue Pitta

Range of Blue Pitta Hydrornis cyaneus cyaneus just enters China in southern and southwest Yunnan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Moist forests from lowlands to 1500 m (4,920 ft.). Feeds mainly on forest floor, foraging in typical pitta fashion for insects and their larvae, snails, and earthworms. ID Male has bright purplish-blue upperparts and tail, a flame-orange rear crown, buff-olive forecrown, and buff cheeks. Strong black eyeline from bill to side of neck; black malar stripe broadens on side of throat. Rest of throat buff with some black smudging in center. Underparts light blue and buff, whiter on belly and vent, with black spotting. Female duller olive-brown with pale blue tinge on upperparts; paler below but with black spotting like male. Juvenile brownish with buff scales on head and buff streaking on upperparts and breast. BARE PARTS Bill black; feet pinkish-brown. VOICE Song two notes, the first descending, down-slurred, and longer than the second, which cuts off abruptly. Song usually repeated at long intervals. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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