Schneider’s pitta, which was once feared extinct (2), belongs to a family of secretive, stumpy-looking birds known for their acute sense of smell (3). Male and female Schneider’s pittas differ quite substantially in their appearance, with males being the more attractive sex. The top of the head and nape of the male is bright chestnut-orange, which contrasts with the prominent black eyestripe and the brilliant ultramarine blue plumage on the upperparts and tail. The wings are brown and the underparts are orangey-buff, and a black band across the breast varies in appearance amongst individuals. The eyes of Schneider’s pitta are red-brown to brown, the bill is dark brown and a touch of white highlights the chin and throat. Females are overall duller in appearance than males, with brown plumage on the upperparts and the glossy blue restricted to just the rump and tail (2). Seldom seen, the Schneider’s pitta may be better detected by its low, soft, lingering whistle that consists of two notes: the first rising, the second falling (2).
- Length: 21 – 23 cm (2)