Rusty-naped Pitta Hydrornis oatesi oatesi is resident in western Yunnan and castaneiceps is in southern Yunnan (Xishuangbanna). HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Moist forests above 1000 m (3,280 ft.), often near streams, living on ground in typical pitta fashion and consuming insects, grubs, snails, and worms. Sometimes heard, rarely seen; extremely shy. ID & COMPARISON Similar to Blue-naped Pitta H. nipalensis and Blue-rumped Pitta H. soror, but lacks blue on nape. Crown, nape, and underparts rust-colored; belly more olive and vent whitish; throat and forehead have slight pinkish tinge. Thin postocular stripe and dark lore. Mantle and tail green; rump green with blue wash; wings olive-brown. Female duller; less green and more rufous or brown above. Juvenile dark brown, with buff streaks on crown and nape and buff spots elsewhere. Juvenile has whiter throat and sides of head than juvenile Blue-naped Pitta; juvenile Blue-rumped Pitta has plainer breast. BARE PARTS Bill black; feet brown to pink. VOICE Fluty, two-note call, sometimes heard at night, the first note descending and down-slurred, the second ending 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.