The Indian Pitta, with its vibrant plumage and lilting song, is a creature that captures the imagination of all who behold it. Its feathers are a kaleidoscope of colors, ranging from deep forest green to bright lemon yellow, and dotted with rich hues of blue and red. Its eyes are bright and lively, set against a backdrop of creamy white and black feathers that frame its face like a mask.
This bird is a master of camouflage, darting through the foliage with ease and grace. Its movements are like poetry in motion, as it flits from branch to branch with a lightness that belies its sturdy frame. The Indian Pitta’s wings are broad and strong, enabling it to glide effortlessly through the air, and its tail is long and sleek, helping it to maintain balance as it perches on a thin branch.
|1||Common Name||Indian Pitta|
|2||Scientific Name||Pitta brachyura|
|3||Colour||Brightly coloured with green, blue, yellow and red feathers|
|4||Average Length (cm)||18|
|5||Average Height (cm)||14|
|6||Type of Bird||Forest bird|
|7||Found in India in States||Throughout India|
|8||Habitat||Deciduous and evergreen forests, scrublands, gardens, parks|
The Indian Pitta, also known as the Blue-winged Pitta, is a small to medium-sized bird that measures around 17 to 18 centimeters in length and weighs between 40 to 60 grams. It has a plump, rounded body and a relatively short tail compared to other pitta species.
The Indian Pitta’s most striking feature is its colorful plumage. Its head, neck, back, and wings are a bright blue-green color, while its belly and underparts are a rich chestnut brown. Its tail is black with blue-green feathers at the base. The bird’s eyes are large and surrounded by a thin white eye-ring, giving it a distinct and expressive appearance.
The Indian Pitta’s bill is short and stout, with a black upper mandible and a yellowish-orange lower mandible. Its legs are relatively long and sturdy, allowing it to hop and run along the forest floor. Despite its small size, the Indian Pitta has a robust build and a strong flight, thanks to its broad and rounded wings.
Habitat and Food
The Indian Pitta is a bird species that is native to the Indian subcontinent and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, scrublands, and gardens. They prefer areas with thick undergrowth and are often found near streams, rivers, and wetlands. The bird is also known to be migratory and travels to different parts of the Indian subcontinent depending on the season.
As for their eating habits, Indian Pittas are omnivores and have a diverse diet that includes insects, spiders, snails, worms, and small reptiles. They forage for food on the forest floor, using their long legs to hop and run along the ground. They are known to be quite skilled at catching insects on the wing and will sometimes leap into the air to catch their prey.
During the breeding season, Indian Pittas also eat fruits and berries, which provide them with extra nutrition to support their reproductive efforts. They have a unique feeding behavior where they will often store food in their throat pouch before swallowing it whole. This allows them to carry food back to their nests to feed their young or to save for later.
Nesting and Nurturing
The Indian Pitta is a ground-nesting bird species that builds its nest on the forest floor or in dense undergrowth. The nest is a simple structure made of leaves, twigs, and grass, and is often concealed in a thick layer of vegetation for protection.The female Indian Pitta is responsible for building the nest, which she constructs over the course of several days.
The Indian Pitta typically lays a clutch of 4 to 5 eggs, which are oval-shaped and have a creamy-white background with reddish-brown spots. The eggs are relatively large compared to the size of the bird, measuring around 24 to 29 millimeters in length and 19 to 22 millimeters in width.
The incubation period for Indian Pitta eggs is around 14 to 15 days, during which time the female bird will stay on the nest to keep the eggs warm and protect them from predators. Once the eggs hatch, both parents take on the responsibility of caring for the young chicks.
Indian Pitta chicks are born with a thin layer of downy feathers and are completely helpless at first. The parents feed them a diet of insects and other small invertebrates, which they catch on the forest floor and bring back to the nest. The chicks grow quickly, and by the time they are two weeks old, they are able to hop out of the nest and follow their parents around as they forage for food.
The Indian Pitta, also known as the Blue-winged Pitta, is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This means that while the species may face some threats, its overall population is stable and not in immediate danger of extinction.
However, habitat loss and fragmentation due to human activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and agriculture are potential threats to the Indian Pitta’s survival. The species is also hunted for its feathers and meat in some parts of its range.