Family Australo-Papuan Bellbirds (Oreoicidae)

Least Concern

Piping Bellbird (Ornorectes cristatus)


French: Carillonneur brun German: Braun-Haubendickkopf Spanish: Pitohuí crestado
Other common names: Crested Pitohui

Rectes cristata


, 1875,

#R, Mount Morait, north Vogelkop, New Guinea


Sometimes treated as monotypic#R, as geographical variation is masked by age- and sex-related plumage differences. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. c. cristatus (Salvadori, 1875) – NW & W New Guinea: mountains of Vogelkop and Onin Peninsula, Weyland Mts and Nassau Mts.
  • O. c. arthuri (E. J. O. Hartert, 1930) – N & C New Guinea E to Sepik Mts in N and Karimui area of Chimbu Province in S; Cyclops Mts; S Trans-Fly region (mouth of Fly R and Oriomo R area).
  • O. c. kodonophonos (Mayr, 1931) – SE New Guinea E from L Kutubu.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–26 cm; 78–111 g. Nominate race has crown, hindneck and upper part of face dark olive-rufous, long crest of same colour reaching to nape when lying flat, lower... read more


    Song a long series of bell-like notes, beginning slowly, increasing in speed while slowly dropping... read more


    Primary rainforest, mainly in foothills, adjacent lowlands and hills to 1300 m, locally to lowlands... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Forages mainly on ground, sometimes in trees, particularly in middle levels. Joins mixed-species foraging flocks.


    No information.


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widely distributed and locally fairly common; elsewhere scarce. Markedly shy, with consequent lack of observations; true level of abundance probably... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). Piping Bellbird (Ornorectes cristatus). 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 24 October 2019).