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Piping Bellbird - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Crested Pitohui)

Alternative names: Crested Wood-shrike; Crested Pitohui

Ornorectes cristatus


25 - 26cm.

  • Olive-rufous upper head with long crest
  • Medium rufous lower part of head
  • Dark olive-brown upperparts including upperwing
  • Dull rufous-brown tail
  • Light rufous underparts, breast washed darker
  • Brown to dark brown eyes
  • Black bill

Sexes similar, immatures are duller and have a paler bill.


Endemic to New Guinea.
Locally fairly common.


There are 3 subspecies:

Formerly placed in the genus Pitohui.
A new study shows that this species is related to Rufous-naped Bellbird and Crested Bellbird and it is therefore placed in a separate family with these two species (Oreoicidae).


Lowland moist forests. Locally up to 1300m.


Feeds on insects. Forages mostly on the ground. Joins mixed flocks.
No information about breeding.
Presumably a resident species.
The skin and feathers contain powerful neurotoxic alkaloids of the batrachotoxin group (also secreted by the Colombian poison dart frogs, genus Phyllobates). It is believed that these serve the birds as a chemical defence, either against ectoparasites or against visually guided predators such as snakes, raptors or humans. (Dumbacher, et al., 1992) The birds probably do not produce batrachotoxin themselves. It is most likely that the toxins come from the Choresine genus of beetles, part of the bird's diet. (Dumbacher, et al., 2004)


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422

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