Family Pittas (Pittidae)

Least Concern

Blue Pitta (Hydrornis cyaneus)


French: Brève bleue German: Blaupitta Spanish: Pita azul

Pitta cyanea


, 1843,

Arakan, west Myanmar


In past, occasionally separated in genus Leucopitta; appears to be most closely related to H. schneideri and H. caeruleus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. c. cyaneus (Blyth, 1843) – NE India (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh) and Myanmar E to S China (S Yunnan) and S to Tenasserim and S Thailand, also N Laos and Vietnam (S Tonkin S to C Annam); recorded in E Bangladesh.
  • H. c. aurantiacus (Delacour & Jabouille, 1928) – SE Thailand and SW Cambodia.
  • H. c. willoughbyi (Delacour, 1926) – C Laos to S Annam.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–24 cm; 99–120 g. Male has conspicuous flame-orange hindcrown and nape, black central crownstripe, black stripe through eye; upperparts and tail blue; inner... read more


    Liquid “pleoow-whit” or “choocoo-whip”, drawn out and with sharp ending, c... read more


    Evergreen forest and bamboo, often with steep ravines, both in moist forest adjacent to streams and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes insects, insect larvae, worms, grubs and snails; stomach of a traffic casualty contained only beetles. Forages by digging in... read more


    Breeds May–Jun, rarely also Jul, in India and Myanmar, and in Jun–Oct in Thailand. Domed nest with side entrance loosely built... read more


    Largely sedentary, but some local altitudinal movement likely in India and Myanmar; probably only a... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Appears to be rare in India, with only a few recent records from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. Only recent record from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Erritzoe, J. (2019). Blue Pitta (Hydrornis cyaneus). 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 18 February 2019).