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Whiskered Pitta - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Leif G
Hamut camp, Luzon, Philippines

Alternative name: Koch's Pitta

Erythropitta kochi

Pitta kochi


22 - 23cm.

  • Dark brown top of head becoming rust-orange on hindcrown and nape
  • Broad pale ash-brown malar whisker extending to neck side
  • Dull dark olive-green upperparts
  • Grey-blue rup and wing-coverts
  • Dull blue tail
  • Small white patch on primaries, only visible in flight
  • Dark brown throat and upper breast
  • Broad blue breastband
  • Scarlet-red rest of underparts
  • Dark blue legs and feet

Females have less grey-blue on wing-coverts. Juveniles are mostly dark brown and lack the whiskers.

Similar species

Similar to Red-bellied Pitta but much larger and Red-bellied Pitta without whisker.


Endemic to Luzon in the northern Philippines.
A rare, restricted-range species.


This is a monotypic species.
Formerly placed in genus Pitta.


Montane evergreen forest especially montane oak forest where there is dense undergrowth and steep ravines.


The diet includes invertebrates.
Forages on the ground, often where wild pigs have dug into the soil.
Breeding virtually unknown, heard calling only from end of February to June, food-carrying adult seen in April, juveniles seen in February, April and May.
Some movements recorded, but poorly understood.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  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

Recommended Citation

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