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Bismarck Pitta - BirdForum Opus

Erythropitta novaehibernicae

Includes: New Ireland Pitta; Tabar Pitta; New Britain Pitta


16 - 18cm.

  • Brown head with walnut-brown crown, contrasting reddish-orange nape and bluish ear-coverts
  • Dark green mantle and back
  • Dull dark green to dull blue rump and tail
  • Deep blue upperwing-coverts, black flight-feathers, variable small white spots on primaries
  • Brown throat
  • Broad glossy blue band across breast
  • Scarlet rest of underparts
  • Black bill
  • extima is larger than the nominate, has some blue feathers on midcrown and a more bluish-green back
  • gazella has a stronger blue line on midcrown than extima and redder crown side
  • splendida has a scarlet nape, a thin blackish hindcollar, deep blue upperparts and blue breast side

Females are duller and more green and less blue on breast. Juveniles are dull brown above and have a dull blue rump and tail.


Found on New Hanover, New Ireland, New Britain and adjacent islands.


Four subspecies recognized:

Formerly included in Red-bellied Pitta. Clements further divides Bismarck Pitta in three species: New Ireland Pitta - E. extima (with novaehibernicae), Tabar Pitta (splendida) and New Britain Pitta (gazellae).


Lowland evergreen forest. Also in secondary habitats.



Feeds on insects and their larvae, earthworms and some plant material.
Forages mainly on the ground.


The domed nest is made of twigs and leaves, grass and ferns. It's mostly placed on the ground or low in scrub or a tree. Some nests were placed 10m above the ground. Lays 2 eggs.


Probably a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Dickinson, EC, ed. 2003. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 3rd ed., with updates to October 2008 (Corrigenda 8). Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691117010
  3. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2016. IOC World Bird Names (version 6.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  4. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334504

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