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Mangrove Pitta - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Larger Blue-winged Pitta; Malay Pitta

Photo by jweeyh
Singapore, January 2017
Pitta megarhyncha


18 - 21cm (7-8¼ in).

  • Grey-brown top of head, sometimes with thin black median stripe
  • Broad black band from lores back to nape
  • Dull dark green upperparts
  • Glossy violet-blue rump
  • Black tail with green or blue tip
  • Glossy ultramarine inner half of wing with violet wash
  • Black primaries with large white patch
  • Whitish throat
  • Cinnamon-buff rest of underparts, mid-belly to undertail-coverts scarlet
  • Black bill
  • Dark flesh-coloured feet

Sexes similar.
Juveniles are duller, have no or little ultramarine in wing, a pinkish belly patch and bill with a red gape.

Similar species

Differs from Blue-winged Pitta in duller plumage, no supercilium (or only narrow line behind eye), lack of blackish chin and longer and stronger bill.


Patchily along the coast from southern Bangladesh east to Burma, western peninsular Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, eastern Sumatra, Riau Archipelago and Bangka Island.
Scarce to locally common.


This is a monotypic species.
Forms a superspecies with Indian Pitta, Fairy Pitta and Blue-winged Pitta and is even sometimes considered conspecific with Blue-winged Pitta.


Coastal mangrove forest.



Feeds on molluscs, particulary on crabs. Takes also ants and other insects.
Forages on mud around mangrove roots.


Breeding season from April to August. The domed nest is made of sticks, dead leaves, grass and coconut fibres. It's usually placed on the ground. Lays 2 - 4 eggs.


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). 2010. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.7). 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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