This species has very few interactions with other organisms in general. Typically speaking it is not a very appetizing meal for any predator due to the relatively high level of toxins found in the feathers and skin. Just a stroke of the feathers creates a tingling numbness that takes over you hand. Now imagine what ingesting that toxin would do to any organism. This toxic adaptation is believed to ward off any ectoparasites that would have normally taken up residence in the feathers of the bird.


    The hooded pitohui are so foul smelling that the locals refuse to eat it unless there are no other food options. They refer to the hooded pitohui as the "rubbish birds" due to the smell and the inability to be consumed without careful preparation. In order to prepare the birds to eat the skin must be carefully rid of all remnants of the toxin (Aquarium of the Pacific).


 An interaction that the Hooded Pitohui partakes in is a form of mimicry. The bird below very closely resembles the Hooded Pitohui but is actually a related species known as the Variable Pitohui (Pitohui kirhocephalus). This is a key example of Müllerian mimicry. This phenomenon occurs when two toxic species exhibit similar coloring or behaviors to warn against toxicity.

Variable pitohui in tree

© Mehd Halaouate


   Interesting facts about the Hooded Pitohui!