Pittas, Pittidae.

There are two diverse lineages of passerine or perching birds. These are the oscines, with a complex vocal apparatus (syrinx), and the suboscines, with a simple, though variable vocal apparatus. The Pittidae is one of the two families of suboscine passerine in the Old World (Africa and Asia).

The Pittidae is a relatively uniform family of medium-sized insectivorous terrestrial birds that is largely confined to the tropical and subtropical forests of Asia, Australia and intervening islands, with a few outlying species occuring on islands to the east of New Guinea and on mainland Africa. At the present time, all 32 species are in the genus Pitta. They are mostly brilliantly coloured and rather thrush-like in their behaviour.

The pittas are usually solitary or found in dispersed pairs. Although some pittas occur in more open habitats, most are shy inhabitants of the floor of forests, and observing them in this habitat provides a major challenge despite their colourful appareance.

Blue Pitta
Pitta cyanea
Banded Pitta
Pitta guajana
North-east India to Burma, Thailand
and Indochina. Listed as resident
in Bhutan, but there are
no confirmed records.
Peninsular Thailand to Malaysia.
Java, Sumatra and Borneo.
Needs investigation,
may comprise more than one species.
Guerney's Pitta
Pitta guerneyi
Superb Pitta
Pitta superba
Peninsular Thailand, southern Burma, extremely rare. Endemic to the island of Manus, Admiralty Islands
Azur-breasted Pitta
Pitta steerii
Whiskered Pitta
Pitta kochi
kochi to the left
Endemic to the Philippines Endemic to the Philippines
Red-bellied Pitta
Pitta erythrogaster

Philippines, New Guinea, northern Australia
African Pitta
Pitta angolensis

Equatorial, western and eastern Africa
Indian Pitta
Pitta brachyura
Indian subcontinent
Fairy Pitta
Pitta nympha
Southern Japan, southern Korea, eastern China, Taiwan.
Was in the past treated as conspecific with Indian Pitta.
Blue-winged Pitta
Pitta moluccensis
Rainbow Pitta
Pitta iris
Southern China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Borneo North-west Australia

Pittas in books
Lambert,F & Woodcock,M. 1996. Pittas, Broadbills and Asities. Pica Press.

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