Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Rusty-naped pitta

In Thai: นกแต้วแล้วใหญ่หัวสีน้ำตาล, nok taewlaew yai hua see namtaan

Binomial name: Pitta oatesi, Allan Octavian Hume, 1873

The rusty-naped pitta (Hydrornis oatesi) is a species of bird in the family Pittidae.


The rusty-naped pitta was described by the amateur ornithologist Allan Octavian Hume in 1873 from specimens collected in the eastern Pegu Hills, Myanmar. Hume coined the current binomial name Hydrornis oatesi. The species was subsequently placed in the genus Pitta but was then moved back to the resurrected genus Hydrornis in 2006 based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study. The genus Hydrornis had been introduced by the English zoologist Edward Blyth in 1843. The specific epithet was chosen to honour the amateur ornithologist Eugene William Oates (1845-1911) who had collected the specimens.

Four subspecies are recognised:

  • H. o. oatesi Hume, 1873 – from east Myanmar to northeast Laos and Thailand
  • H. o. castaneiceps (Delacour & Jabouille, 1930) – southeast China to central Laos and northwest Vietnam
  • H. o. bolovenensis (Delacour, 1932) – south Laos and south Vietnam
  • H. o. deborah (King, BF, 1978) – central Malay Peninsula


The male has a deep brown head and underparts with dull green wings. It has a well defined black stripe behind the eyes. The female is duller than the male, with brownish tingeing on the wings and vague dark scaling on the lower throat.

Distribution and habitat

The rusty-naped pitta is found in Indochina and adjacent parts of southern China. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical, tropical moist montane forests and bamboo forests. It is typically found above 800 m.

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Scientific classification

Pitta oatesi

Common names

  • Thai: นกแต้วแล้วใหญ่หัวสีน้ำตาล, nok taewlaew yai hua see namtaan


  • Pitta oatesi bolovenensis, Jean Théodore Delacour, 1932

    Range: South Laos and South Annam

  • Pitta oatesi castaneiceps, Jean Théodore Delacour & Pierre Jabouille, 1930

    Range: South China (South Yunnan) to South Laos and N/W Vietnam

  • Pitta oatesi deborah, Ben F. King, 1978

  • Pitta oatesi oatesi, Allan Octavian Hume, 1873

    Range: Myanmar, Laos and Thailand


  • Hydrornis oatesi, Allan Octavian Hume (1873)
  • Pitta oatesi

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Range map of Pitta oatesi in Thailand