Blue-winged Pitta

Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis is very rarely recorded southern Yunnan; vagrant Guangdong, Hainan, and Taiwan (though these records may involve escapees). HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Forests, to 1800 m (5,910 ft.). Eats earthworms, insects, and snails. ID & COMPARISON Beautiful, colorful pitta, like Fairy Pitta P. nympha but brighter and with brown crown, orange-buff breast, more extensively blue wing coverts and large white patch on primaries (inner primaries all white). Has buff supercilium, black crown stripe (meeting black nape), and broad black mask forming band around nape. Throat white. Upperparts green with sky-blue wings. Breast and belly orange to buff. Like fairy pitta, has crimson patch from middle of belly to undertail coverts. Juvenile paler and duller, with pale gape; lacks red belly patch and has pale tips to median and greater coverts. BARE PARTS Strong bill black; feet pale brown. VOICE Double-note song shriller and faster than similar song of Fairy Pitta. Song usually repeated at long intervals. Alarm call drawn-out meowing sound, reminiscent of a raptor’s. — Craig Brelsford

THE PITTAS OF CHINA covers all species in China in the family Pittidae. Click any link:

Fairy Pitta
Fairy Pitta

Eared Pitta Hydrornis phayrei
Rusty-naped Pitta H. oatesi
Blue-naped Pitta H. nipalensis
Blue-rumped Pitta H. soror
Blue Pitta H. cyaneus
Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis
Hooded Pitta P. sordida
Fairy Pitta P. nympha


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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