Family Pittas (Pittidae)

Least Concern

Green-breasted Pitta (Pitta reichenowi)


French: Brève à poitrine verte German: Grünbrustpitta Spanish: Pita pechiverde

Pitta reichenowi


, 1901,

Middle Congo River, above Stanley Pool, DRCongo


Has been considered conspecific with P. angolensis on basis of apparent intermediate birds from Cameroon and S Congo, and more recently in SE Nigeria#R, resulting in postulated hybrid zone extending from SE Nigeria to S Congo. Nevertheless, present form differs from P. angolensis in its dull mid-green vs pale cinnamon breast (3); black transverse bar or patch between throat and upper breast (2); whiter throat (1); song (a whistle) longer (2) with lower frequency range (2) and different note-shape (ns[1]), also decoupled from wing-whirr (potentially a major difference, but further work needed to confirm constancy of this character)#R; also apparently forms a narrow hybrid zone, e.g. in SW Cameroon (2). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

W & S Cameroon to N Gabon, Congo, and SW Central African Republic, W, SC & NE DRCongo and SW Uganda (Budongo Forest S to Kabale and E to Jinja).

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm. Has black head, broad golden-buff supercilium, rear super­ciliary feathers paler and erectile; upperparts deep green, rump and tail-coverts sky-blue, tail... read more


Short bell-like whistle 0·25–0·5 seconds long, repeated several times at rate... read more


Old secondary forest with dense undergrowth and thickets apparently favoured, but also found in... read more

Food and feeding

Hairless caterpillars, beetles and beetle larvae, termites (Isoptera), maggots, small millipedes (Diplopoda), small centipedes (Chilopoda... read more


Eggs in May and Sept and fledglings in Jun and Nov in Cameroon, eggs in Gabon in Jan and in Uganda in May, and fledglings in May and birds... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Very shy species, rarely seen; most reports concern individuals trapped by local people. In Cameroon, only three reports in period of three years in... read more

Recommended citation

Erritzoe, J. (2019). Green-breasted Pitta (Pitta reichenowi). 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 21 May 2019).