Family Pittas (Pittidae)


Superb Pitta (Pitta superba)


French: Brève superbe German: Manuspitta Spanish: Pita soberbia

Pitta superba

Rothschild and E. J. O. Hartert

, 1914,

Manus, Admiralty Islands


Relationships uncertain; detailed DNA studies required. Monotypic.


Manus I, in Admiralty Is.

Descriptive notes

21–22 cm. Glossy black, except for large conspicuously iridescent azure-blue and green upperwing-coverts, flight-feathers edged green, and bright red central lower... read more


A rising and falling “coo-coo”, also described as “hwouw-whouw”, often... read more


Primary and secondary hilly rainforest, as well as scrub around village gardens and bamboo scrub.... read more

Food and feeding

Not documented. Said by local villagers to eat snails after smashing them on stones; this was corroborated by a discovery by ornithologists... read more


Only known nest with eggs was found in Oct, but five males and eight females in breeding condition in Dec–Jan and juveniles reported... read more



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Uplisted from Vulnerable in 2013 due to very small population, thought to be in moderate decline. Restricted-range species: present in Admiralty Islands EBA... read more

Recommended citation

Erritzoe, J. (2019). Superb Pitta (Pitta superba). 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 April 2019).