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South Moluccan Pitta - BirdForum Opus

Erythropitta rubrinucha

Includes: Buru Pitta; Seram Pitta


16 - 18cm.

  • Brown head with dark brown lores and supercilium and cinnamon cheeks, pale blue on crown and behind eye
  • Small contrasting red patch on nape
  • Dark green mantle and back
  • Blue rump and tail
  • Deep blue upperwing-coverts, black flight-feathers, variable small white spots on primaries
  • Black lower throat and upper breast
  • Broad glossy blue band across breast
  • Scarlet rest of underparts
  • Black bill
  • piroensis with larger red patch on nape and darker green on upperparts

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 Buru and Seram Islands, Southern Moluccas, (Indonesia)
Common on Buru, very rare on Seram.


Two subspecies recognized:

  • E. r. rubrinucha on Buru
  • E. r. piroensis on Seram

Formerly included in Red-bellied Pitta. Clements first divided South Moluccan Pitta in two species: Buru Pitta (rubrinucha) and Seram Pitta (piroensis) however they are relumped now as South Moluccan Pitta.


Lowland evergreen forest. Also in secondary habitats.



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


A nest with eggs recorded on Buru in November. 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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