Black Sittella in Papua New Guinea

In the Central Highlands of PNG I found this nice Black Sittella (Daphoenositta miranda) . This species belongs in the Neosittidae family. It is found in several mountainous areas in New Guinea. There is not much known about this close relative of the more common Varied Sittella. Even Wikipedia does not show much more. For more details of Black Sittella (Daphoenositta miranda) – HBW 12, p. 641 or look at their website The subspecies kuboriensis occurs in the Central Highlands (Kubor Range and Mt Giluwe), in EC New Guinea. This nice male individuum I found in a litlle flock of this subspecies near the Ambua Lodge, Tari from the Highlands Highway, on 5°57.4’S, 143°4’E. This  New Guinea endemic species  was found in what is supposed to be its typical habitat, montane cloud forests of the central ranges of New Guinea on 2.150m asl. As described in literature, the flock was moving from tree to tree in a loose group, peeling insects from lichen and bark as they move up and down the branches and trunks. The resemblance to nuthatches is really striking though I noticed that the moved slowly and more or less silently –not as rapidly as I remember it from nuthatches like the Wood Nuthatch (Sitta europaea).

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