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Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Blue-winged pitta

Thai: นกแต้วแล้วธรรมดา, nok taewlaew thammadaa

Binomial name: Pitta moluccensis, Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller, 1776

The blue-winged pitta (Pitta moluccensis) is a passerine bird in the family Pittidae native to Australia and Southeast Asia. It forms a superspecies with three other pittas and has no subspecies.


The German naturalist Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller first described the blue-winged pitta in 1776. It forms a superspecies with the Indian pitta (P. brachyura), fairy pitta (P. nympha) and mangrove pitta (P. megarhyncha). Alternate common names include: lesser blue-winged pitta, the little blue-winged pitta, the Moluccan pitta, the Brève à ailes bleues (in French), the Kleine Blauflügelpitta (in German), and the Pita Aliazul (in Spanish).


Measuring 180 to(-) 205 mm in length, the blue-winged pitta has a black head with a buff-coloured supercilium, white chin and buff underparts. The shoulders and mantle are greenish, the wings are bright blue, and the vent is reddish. The bill is black, eyes are brown and the legs pale pink. Juveniles have similar patterned plumage but are duller. It resembles the mangrove pitta but can be distinguished by its shorter bill. The loud call has been transcribed as taew-laew taew-laew

Distribution and habitat

It is regularly found in Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is vagrant in Australia, Christmas Island, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Its natural habitat is subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests.

It is found in a variety of habitats to an altitude of 800 m (2500 ft), including broadleaved forests, parks and gardens, and mangroves, though avoids dense rainforest.

The range is much of southeast Asia and Indochina, from central Myanmar east through Thailand and into peninsular Malaysia. It is a winter visitor to Borneo and Sumatra, and a vagrant to the Philippines and Java. It is a rare vagrant to the northwestern coast of Australia.


The blue-winged pitta mostly feeds on worms and insects, hunting them on the ground or from a low branch or perch, but they also eat hard-shelled snails.

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Scientific classification

Pitta moluccensis

Common names

  • Thai: นกแต้วแล้วธรรมดา, nok taewlaew thammadaa

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Blue-winged pitta, Pitta moluccensis in Thailand

Range map of Pitta moluccensis in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

It is free to use this map on various media. See the creative common license terms by clicking "CC" icon below the map. But remember, again; the map may not be accurate or complete.

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