Pittas (family Pittidae)

Pittas (bird family, Pittidae) are mostly found in tropical Asia and Australasia, except for a couple of species that are endemic in Africa. These terrestrial birds are typically found on wet forest floors. They are mostly solitary. Many species of pittas are migratory, and during their migration commonly visit urban gardens.


Pittas are medium-sized and stocky birds that measure 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) in length (including the very short tail). They have longish strong legs and long feet; and stout, slightly down-curved bills.

Many of the subspecies have vividly colored plumages.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on snails, insects, and similar invertebrates.

Breeding / Nesting

Pittas lay up to six eggs in large spherical nests situated in trees or shrubs, or sometimes on the ground. Both parents raise the young.

Recognized Species

  • Eared Pitta, Hydrornis phayrei
  • Blue-naped Pitta, Hydrornis nipalensis
  • Blue-rumped Pitta, Hydrornis soror
  • Rusty-naped Pitta, Hydrornis oatesi
  • Schneider’s Pitta, Hydrornis schneideri
  • Giant Pitta, Hydrornis caerulea
  • Blue-headed Pitta, Hydrornis baudii
  • Blue Pitta, Hydrornis cyanea
  • Bar-bellied Pitta, Hydrornis elliotii
  • Banded Pitta, Hydrornis guajana
    • Javan Banded Pitta, Hydrornis (guajana) guajana
    • Malayan Banded Pitta, Hydrornis (guajana) irena
    • Bornean Banded Pitta, Hydrornis (guajana) schwaneri
  • Gurney’s Pitta, Hydrornis gurneyi
  • Whiskered Pitta, Erythropitta kochi
  • Red-bellied Pitta, Erythropitta erythrogaster
  • Blue-banded Pitta, Erythropitta arquata
  • Garnet Pitta, Erythropitta granatina
  • Graceful Pitta, Erythropitta venusta
  • Black-headed Pitta, Erythropitta ussheri
  • Hooded Pitta, Pitta sordida
  • Ivory-chested Pitta, Pitta maxima
  • Superb Pitta, Pitta superba
  • Azure-chested Pitta, Pitta steerii
  • Sula Pitta, Pitta dohertyi
  • African Pitta, Pitta angolensis
  • Green-chested Pitta, Pitta reichenowi
  • Indian Pitta, Pitta brachyura
  • Fairy Pitta, Pitta nympha
  • Blue-winged Pitta, Pitta moluccensis
  • Mangrove Pitta, Pitta megarhyncha
  • Elegant Pitta, Pitta elegans
  • Noisy Pitta, Pitta versicolor
  • Black-faced Pitta, Pitta anerythra
  • Rainbow Pitta, Pitta iris
Pittas Perched In A Tree
Pittas Perched In A Tree

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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