Family Pittas (Pittidae)

Least Concern

African Pitta (Pitta angolensis)


French: Brève d’Angola German: Angolapitta Spanish: Pita angoleña

Pitta angolensis


, 1816,



Closely related to P. reichenowi, and sometimes regarded as conspecific; but see under that species. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. pulih Fraser, 1843 – Sierra Leone and SE Guinea E to SW Cameroon.
  • P. a. angolensis Vieillot, 1816 – SW Cameroon S to NW Angola.
  • P. a. longipennis Reichenow, 1901 – SE Tanzania S to E Zambia, N & E Zimbabwe and S Mozambique; migrates N to region from S Central African Republic and N & NE DRCongo E to S Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20 cm; male 79–92 g, female 81–98 g. Has black head, broad buffish-ochre supercilium, rear superciliary feathers slightly paler and erectile; upperparts... read more


    Main call a short, loud, sharp “ouit” or “wheet” preceded by mechanical... read more


    Semi-deciduous and evergreen rainforest, thickets and swampy localities, occasionally deciduous... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including termites (Isoptera), ants, beetles, caterpillars and grubs; also snails, and earthworms and millipedes (Diplopoda).... read more


    In W Africa, breeds in Sept in Sierra Leone, Mar–Sept in Liberia, Jul in Ghana, Sept–Oct in Cameroon, Nov in Angola; in E, Nov... read more


    W African populations apparently largely sedentary, but records of race pulih killed at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to scarce or rare. Not uncommon in parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe; minimum of 6 pairs found in 28 ha of forest in Zambezi Valley, giving... read more

    Recommended citation

    Erritzoe, J. (2019). African Pitta (Pitta angolensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 April 2019).