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Southern Variable Pitohui - BirdForum Opus

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Pitohui uropygialis


22-25 cm
Generally, males have black hood, wing and tail with rest of plumage dark rufous-brown. Females lack the black hood.

  • Nigripectus
    • Male has reddish-brown back and rust coloured belly, remainder of plumage black
    • Female similar but breast also rust coloured
  • Meridionalis
    • Rusty chestnut upperparts
    • Reddish to yellowish brown belly and undertail coverts
    • Female has grey-brown to dark brown head and throat
    • Brown wings and tail
  • Brunneiceps
    • Similar to meridionalis, but
    • Brown head and throat
    • Black beak
  • Aruensis
    • Similar to Nigripectus, but
    • Deeper reddish-brown belly
    • Reddish-brown breast mixed with black
    • Female has dusky head and throat (not black)
  • Uropygialis
    • Rich red-brown upper back, lower breast and belly
    • Rest of plummage black
  • Tibialis
    • Similar touropygialis, but
    • Deeper red-brown overall


New Guinea and some nearby islands


Southern Variable Pitohui, Raja Ampat Pitohui, and Northern Variable Pitohui were previously included in Variable Pitohui


Six subspecies are recognized[1].

  • P. u. nigripectus in south New Guinea
  • P. u. meridionalis in southeast New Guinea (Chads Bay to Yule Island)
  • P. u. brunneiceps in south New Guinea (Fly River to Gulf of Papua)
  • P. u. aruensis on Aru Islands
  • P. u. uropygialis on Salawati and Misool islands
  • P. u. tibialis in northwest New Guinea (western half of Vogelkop Peninsula)


A variety of forests and edges including disturbed areas and gardens to about 1000 m asl.


Food includes insects and fruit.


Fluting sounds with nearby birds countersinging.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2021. IOC World Bird List (v11.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.11.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. del Hoyo, J., N. Collar, G. M. Kirwan, and P. F. D. Boesman (2020). Southern Variable Pitohui (Pitohui uropygialis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.varpit3.01

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