Indian Pitta

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pitta brachyura

Indian Pitta

The Indian Pitta is a colorful stubby- tailed bird. Its colors are most striking when it is in flight.

It is a medium-sized passerine, about 5.9 - 7.5 inches long and weigh around 47 - 66 grams.

It has long, strong legs and a stout bill, a buffy crown with a black stripe in the middle, a black eye-stripe, and buffy underparts with bright red on the vent. Upperparts are green, with a blue shoulder patch.

It is more often heard than seen and has a distinctive loud two-note whistle "wheeet- tieu" or "wieet-pyou" or sometimes, a triple note "hh-wit-wiyu". They also have a single note mewing call.

They have a habit of calling once or twice, often with neighboring individuals joining in, at dawn or dusk leading to their common name of "Six-O-Clock" bird in Tamil.

When calling the head is thrown back and the bill is pointed upwards.

Feed on insects and other small invertebrates that they usually pick up from the ground or leaf litter.

They have also been noted to take kitchen food scraps from the ground.

Breed in the under-story of evergreen and deciduous forests, often near ravines with dense brush or bamboo.

During migration and winter they use forested areas, including small fragments and wooded gardens.

Breeds in the foothills of the Himalayas, in northern India, Pakistan and Nepal.

They winter in southern India and Sri Lanka.

Nest is a globular structure with a circular opening on one side built on the ground or on low branches. It is made up of dry leaves and grasses.

The clutch is 4 - 5 eggs which are very glossy white and spherical with spots and speckles of deep maroon or purple.

Both parents share the task of incubation for 14 - 16 days.





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