Family Pittas (Pittidae)


Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha)


French: Brève migratrice German: Nymphenpitta Spanish: Pita ninfa

Pitta nympha

Temminck and Schlegel

, 1850,



Formerly treated by many authors as conspecific with P. brachyura, but differs in morphology, plumage and vocalizations. Monotypic.


E & SE China, S Korea (Jeju I and perhaps SW peninsula), S Japan (S Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) and Taiwan; winters S to Borneo.

Descriptive notes

16–20 cm; 67·5–155 g. Adult has top of head chestnut with black median stripe, pale buffish supercilium, broad black band from lores and below eye to nape... read more


Clear whistle, “kwah-he-wwa-wu”, similar to that of P. moluccensis but longer... read more


In S Korea and Japan prefers moist lowland and foothill forest with dense undergrowth, especially... read more

Food and feeding

Beetles, ants, centipedes (Chilopoda) and snails reported. A pair studied in Taiwan fed nestlings almost solely on earthworms. In captivity... read more


Season May–Jul in Japan and Taiwan, Jun in SE China (Guangxi) and May–Jun in Korea. Domed nest up to 45 cm wide (in one case... read more


Long-distance migrant; non-breeders present in Borneo mid Oct to Mar. Movements poorly understood;... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Rare; global population probably no more than a few thousand individuals. Protected by law throughout breeding range; occurs in several protected areas... read more

Recommended citation

Erritzoe, J. (2019). Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha). 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 April 2019).