Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Mangrove pitta

Thai: นกแต้วแล้วป่าโกงกาง, nok taewlaew paa kongkaang

Binomial name: Pitta megarhyncha, Hermann Schlegel, 1863

The mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) is a species of passerine bird in the Pittidae family native to Southeast Asia and South Asia. It is part of a superspecies but has no recognized subspecies.


The mangrove pitta was first described by German ornithologist Hermann Schlegel in 1863. Its species name is derived from the Ancient Greek words mega- "large", and rhynchos "beak". It forms a superspecies with the Indian pitta (P. brachyura), fairy pitta (P. nympha) and blue-winged pitta (P. moluccensis). Alternate common names include: Larger blue-winged/Malay pitta, Brève des palétuviers (in French), Große Blauflügelpitta (in German), and Pita de Manglar (in Spanish). There are no recognized subspecies.


Measuring 180 to(-) 210 mm in length, the mangrove pitta has a black head with a buff-coloured crown, white chin and buff underparts. The shoulders and mantle are greenish and the vent is reddish. Juveniles have similar patterned plumage but are duller. It resembles the blue-winged pitta but can be distinguished by its much heavier bill. Its call, transcribed as wieuw-wieuw has been noted to be "more slurred" than the blue-winged pitta.

Distribution and habitat

The mangrove pitta is native to the countries of: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand (primarily the west coast of the southern Thai peninsula). Its natural habitat is specialised and restriction to subtropical or tropical mangrove forests and Nipa palm stands. It is threatened by habitat loss. Its diet consists of crustaceans, mollusks and terrestrial insects.


While all pittas are noted for being difficult to study and spot in the wild, the mangrove pitta is one of the easier ones to spot as it sits high up in mangrove trees and calls. A tape recording of its call will often bring it forth. It tends to be vocal while brooding but quiet at other times.

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Scientific classification

Pitta megarhyncha

Common names

  • Thai: นกแต้วแล้วป่าโกงกาง, nok taewlaew paa kongkaang

Conservation status

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Mangrove pitta, Pitta megarhyncha in Thailand
  • Ao Phang-Nga National Park
  • Hat Chao Mai National Park
  • Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khuan Khanun District, Phatthalung
  • Khura Buri District, Phang Nga
  • Ko Phra Thong
  • Laem Son National Park
  • Mu Ko Similan National Park
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Mueang Ranong District, Ranong
  • Mueang Satun District, Satun
  • Sirinat National Park
  • Sri Phang-nga National Park

Range map of Pitta megarhyncha 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.

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