Rufous Piha Lipaugus unirufus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Jamie-Ann E. Haynes


Distinguishing Characteristics

Rufous Piha has bright reddish brown plumage, varying from reddish brown to cinnamon-brown, with slightly paler underparts (Skutch 1969). It is 22.9-24.1 cm in length, and weighs about 75 g.

Similar Species

The Rufous Piha is similar to the Rufous Mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra), but the piha is larger and stouter, and has a paler throat. The size and shape of the piha is similar to that of a thrush (Turdus) but the piha has a larger head and thicker bill (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Detailed Description

Rufous Piha is a large reddish brown to cinnamon-brown bird, with a moderately broad bill, and no distinctive plumage patterns (Skutch 1969, Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Adult: Sexes similar. Crown rufous, with moderately lighter shaft lines. Upperparts generally deep cinnamon-brown. Underparts buffy cinnamon, the breast darker and duller. Axillars, underwing coverts, and inner webs of remiges deep ochraceous buff. (Wetmore 1972).

Hatchling: Covered in sparse gray down (Skutch 1969).

Bare Parts

Iris: dark brown

Bill: maxilla dusky gray, mandible dull buffy brown with gray tip.

Tarsi and toes: gray to brown, with greenish to grayish scutes.

Bare parts data from Wetmore (1972).


Total length: 22-24 cm (Wetmore 1972).

Linear measurements (from Wetmore 1972):

male, wing: 125.0-132.9 mm (n = 10, mean 128.8 mm)

female, wing: 121.6-128.0 mm (n= 10, mean 124.4 mm)

male, tail: 95.6-103.9 mm (n = 10, mean 100.8 mm)

female, tail: 93.8-104.2 mm (n = 10, mean 98.0 mm)

male, culmen (from base): 21.0-24.6 mm (n = 10, mean 22.7 mm)

female, culmen (from base): 22.3-24.4 mm (n = 10, mean 23.3 mm)

male, tarsus: 20.0-22.5 mm (n = 10, mean 21.1. mm)

female, tarsus: 20.4-22.4 mm (n = 10, mean 21.2 mm).

Mass: mean 83.7 g (range 79-87 g, n = 6 males; Snow 1982).

Recommended Citation

Haynes, J. E. (2012). Rufous Piha (Lipaugus unirufus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.