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Rusty Pitohui - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 00:27, 7 September 2021 by Njlarsen (talk | contribs) (change genus)
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Alternative names: Ferruginous Wood-shrike; Ferruginous Pitohui

Pseudorectes ferrugineus

Colluricincla ferrugineus


25.5 - 28.5cm.

  • Brown head and upperparts, rufous tinged
  • Rufous uppertail-coverts
  • Rufous tail
  • Light rusty buff underparts with paler throat
  • White eye
  • Black bill


  • leucorhynchus much darker with greyish-white bill
  • fuscus similar to leucorhynchus but darker
  • brevipennis darker than nominate but paler than other two and with black bill

Sexes similar, juveniles with dark eye.


New Guinea, Aru Island and West Papuan islands.
Common to fairly common in its range.


Six subspecies recognized[1]:

  • P. f. leucorhynchus on Waigeo Island
  • P. f. fuscus on Batanta Island
  • P. f. ferrugineus on Salawati and Misool and northwet mainland New Guinea
  • P. f. holerythrus on Yapen Island and northern New Guinea
  • P. f. brevipennis on Aru Islands
  • P. f. clarus in south and east New Guinea

This species was formerly placed in the genus Pitohui and thereafter in Colluricincla.


Found in rainforest and other forest types like gallery forest and secondary growth. Also in teak plantations. Found up to 800m, locally up to 1000m.


Feeds on insects and fruit. Sometimes in mixed-species flocks with Spangled Drongo and Papuan Babbler.
It builds a deep, cup-shaped nest of sticks, leaves and stems in a fork of a tree. Lays 1 egg.
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[3]. 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[4].


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://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
  3. Dumbacher, et al., 1992
  4. Dumbacher, et al., 2004

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