Leiothrix lutea


The Red-billed Leiothrix's forages on the ground for fruit, seeds, and insects, such as butterflies, moths, millipedes, and spiders. I find this to be one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen. Also known as Pekin Nightingale or Japanese Hill Robin.


General: 5.5 inches in length. Sexes similar.

Adult: Bright reddish-orange bill. Crown, lores, nape, and back are dull olive-green. Bright yellow-orange throat. Yellow chin. Dull-yellow belly and undertail coverts. Buffy or dull yellow eye ring that extends to the bill. Black primaries and secondaries with yellow-orange edges. Yellow-orange base on secondaries forms a small square patch on closed wings. Remainder of wing is olive-brown. Deeply notched tail. Pinkish legs and feet.

Juvenile: Grayish upperparts, duller red and yellow wingpatches, yellow throat with rusty breast-band, and a black bill with varying amounts of red toward the tip.


Underbrush areas of dense, wet and dry forests at all elevations. Native to Southern Asia. Introduced to the Hawaiian Islands around 1918.


3-4 pale-blue eggs with reddish-brown spots at blunt end. The eggs have an ~14 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is a cup made from leaves, moss, and lichen, and lined with fine threads of fungal substance. The nest is typically built on a horizontally forked branch. Breeds from March to August.

Observed Locations:

  • Tantalus Drive, O'ahu, Hawaii

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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.