Variable pitohui

Pitohui kirhocephalus

SUBFAMILY

Pachycephalinae

TAXONOMY

Lanius kirhocephalus Lesson and Garnot, 1827, Dorey, Vo-gelkop, New Guinea. Twenty-one subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Pitohui variable; German: Okkerpitohui; Spanish: Pitojui Variable.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

9-10 in (23-25.5 cm); 0.19-0.22 lb (85-100 g). Black head and primary feathers with orange underparts, rufous back and secondaries, and black legs.

DISTRIBUTION

New Guinea and satellite islands.

HABITAT

Thick vegetation along forest edges and in secondary growth and disturbed forest up to 3,630 ft (1,100 m), in places to 4,950 ft (1,500 m).

BEHAVIOR

Gregarious, usually seen in pairs or small parties. Secretive, hides in dense vegetation. Has a loud musical voice; duetting between birds has been recorded.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Insects and fruit. Often joins other species in mixed-species foraging flocks.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nesting habits and eggs are undescribed.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Abundance variable across range; very common in places, rare or absent in others.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Avoided as food because of unpleasant taste, known to be due to toxin in tissues. ♦

Pitohui kirhocephalus

Resident

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