Family Pittas (Pittidae)

Least Concern

Ivory-breasted Pitta (Pitta maxima)


French: Brève d’Halmahera German: Halmahera-Weißbrustpitta Spanish: Pita de Halmahera

Pitta maxima

S. Müller and Schlegel

, 1845,



Hitherto considered conspecific with P. morotaiensis (which see). Monotypic.


Halmahera, along with nearby islands of Kasiruta and Bacan, and possibly also Mandioli and Obi.

Descriptive notes

25–28 cm; male 172–206 g, female 166–172 g. Adult has glossy black head, upperparts and tail, shining blue and green upperwing-coverts, black wings with... read more


Main call a loud, far-carrying, drawn-out “phwee phweeecoou” of c. 1·5 seconds... read more


Lowland primary and selectively logged forest, and more rarely in second growth, most frequently in... read more

Food and feeding

No documented information. Earthworms and caterpillars reported by local people as being eaten by this species; also, an “anvil” with... read more


Few data: nests with single egg found in May–Jul, juvenile in early Feb and males with enlarged testes in May, Jun, Jul and Nov;... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Northern Maluku Endemic Bird Area. Locally common in all forest and other well-vegetated... read more

Recommended citation

Erritzoe, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ivory-breasted Pitta (Pitta maxima). 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 25 May 2019).