Olivaceous Pihas (Snowornis cryptolophus) – Attypical Piha

The Olivaceous Pihas (Snowornis cryptolophus) – also known as Olivaceous Cotingas – occur naturally in moist montanes in South America, specifically in the countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Their closest relatives are the Grey-tailed Pihas.


Olivaceous Pihas (Snowornis cryptolophus)

Olivaceous Piha

Subspecies and Ranges:

  • Snowornis cryptolophus cryptolophus (P. L. Sclater and Salvin, 1877) – Nominate Race
    • Found on the east Andes of Colombia, south from the head of Magdalena Valley) and Ecuador, as well as the eastern and central Andean slopes of Peru (south to the city of Huánuco).
  • Snowornis cryptolophus mindoensis (Hellmayr and Seilern, 1914)
    • Range: Western Andes of Colombia (south from the department of Antioquia) and northwestern Ecuador, where they are found in the province of Pichincha in the northern sierra region.

 Olivaceous Piha (Snowornis cryptolophus)


The medium-sized Olivaceous Pihas measure between 9 – 9.4 inches (23 – 24 cm), including their long and slender tails.

The plumage is mostly olive green. Males can be identified by the black feathers on their crowns (top of the head).

Similar Species

The Olivaceous Piha resembles the related Grey-tailed Piha but can be identified by their more uniform plumage that lacks the contrasting grey abdomen and tail of the Grey-tailed Piha. When looking from below (perched or in flight), identification can be made by looking at the underside of the tail, which is grey in the Grey-tailed and olive-colored in the Olivaceous Piha.

The Olivaceous Piha generally occurs at higher elevations than the Grey-tailed Piha.

Olivaceous Pihas (Snowornis cryptolophus) - adult feeding chick

 Diet / Feeding

Their diet mostly consists of various fruits or insects.

Olivaceous Piha (Snowornis cryptolophus)

Breeding / Nesting

Little is known of their nesting habits, except from one single observation in northwest Ecuador, where one single egg was placed into an open-cup nest.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

Sound Recordings

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Kotinga olivová … Danish: Olivenpiha … Dutch: Geelbuikpiha … Finnish: Rastaskotinga … French: Cotinga olivtre, Piauhau olivtre … German: Gelbbauchpiha, Gelbbauch-Piha … Italian: Piha olivacea … Japanese: oriabukazaridori, ori-bukazaridori … Norwegian: Olivenpiha … Polish: blawatowiec oliwkowy, b?awatowiec oliwkowy … Russian: ??????????? ????????????? ???? … Slovak: kotinga žltobruchá … Spanish: Guardabosque Oliva, Guardabosques Oliváceo, Minero Olivo, Piha olivácea … Swedish: Olivpiha

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