©Sexing Black-headed Pittas (Pitta ussheri) in N. Borneo

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 1

“The chance encounter of a breeding pair of Black-headed Pittas (Pitta ussheri) whistling to each other in N. Borneo provided another observation worthwhile to put on record – a rare glimpse into their gender.

“Field guide books in my possession have not made any mention of defining the description of their sex.

“Here is the same pair as featured earlier in my article, ‘Observation of Black-headed Pittas Whistling in N.Borneo’, with better frontal views for readers’ comparison LINK.

[Supposedly FEMALE (above left) and supposedly MALE (above right]

“Do appreciate the difference the black and red demarcation line of the supposedly female’s breast feathering. It appears to be a near-straight cut across whereas the supposedly male wears a frontal breast ‘V’ like shaped demarcation.

“So far, this is the only difference I am able to view by photography.

“Or was it just an irregularity of feathers when preening?

“Perhaps, with a huge dose of pitta luck in my or readers’ next encounter with Black-headed Pittas (Pitta ussheri) in the N. Bornean forests, more specific observations could be made and images of pairs brought together for a final confirmation.

“There is nothing better than best to enjoy observing and photographing Pittas in the wild than narrating or identifying them from an armchair.”

Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
Optics used: Fieldscope ED82+30x+Camera P3. Binoculars 8×32
Copyright article and copy images:
Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund

  1. Tou Jing Yi

    interesting, not sure if it is iridescent effect or lightings, did you notice the primaries of the left bird looks black but the one on the right looks bluish? Maybe you can check on more of your photo to see if this is due to angle or in fact different on both birds.

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