Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)


  • Species name: Indian Pitta
  • Scientific name: Pitta brachyura
  • Family: Pittidae (Pittas)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Small bird, about 9.5-10.2 cm (3.7-4.0 in) long with a wingspan of 8.6-9.4 cm (3.4-3.7 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky and compact, with short legs, a long, straight beak, and a very long, forked tail (nearly half the total length).
  • Plumage color:

Males: Dazzling emerald green upperparts with iridescent flashes, shimmering coppery green throat and chest, black face mask, and white belly stripes.

Females: Duller green upperparts, less iridescent throat, and buffy underparts with brown streaks.

Black legs.

Dark eyes.

Long, straight, and black beak, ideal for reaching deep into leaf litter.


  • Method of feeding: Primarily feeds on insects, snails, and worms hidden in leaf litter. Hovers for a moment before dropping down and probing the ground with its long beak.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests on low branches or vines. Lays 2 white eggs. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range.
  • Communication: Loud, high-pitched whistles and calls. Males have a complex song for defending territory and attracting mates.


  • Habitat: Humid mountain forests, particularly near clearings and edges with abundant ground cover.
  • Diet: Insects, snails, worms, spiders.
  • Hunting methods: Hovers briefly and then drops down to the forest floor, probing the leaf litter with its long beak to flush out prey.

Distribution: Found in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar.

Indian Pitta

The Indian Pitta, a feathered jewel flashing through the emerald undergrowth of the Indian subcontinent, might seem like a shy forest wanderer at first glance. But beneath its vibrant plumage and secretive calls lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this seemingly modest bird into a captivating avian acrobat and forest guardian in your eyes.

Masters of the Undergrowth: Forget soaring eagles; the Indian Pitta reigns supreme in the dense forest floor. Their powerful legs and short, rounded wings propel them through tangled undergrowth with surprising agility, making them feathered jungle gymnasts with built-in miniature all-terrain vehicles!

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their hunting prowess! Indian Pittas are expert insectivores, using their long, curved bills to probe leaf litter and uncover hidden treasures. They flick leaves with mesmerizing precision, unearthing unsuspecting worms, grubs, and even small frogs — talk about feathered detectives with built-in miniature metal detectors!

Unexpected Nesting Secrets: Their nests are more than just twigs and leaves. Indian Pittas weave their homes with moss, bark, and even animal hair, creating cozy, well-camouflaged havens for their chicks. These feathered interior designers even incorporate fallen feathers to blend seamlessly with the forest floor — talk about living camouflage!

Singing with Sass: Their calls aren't just chirps and whistles. Indian Pittas possess a rich repertoire of complex songs, featuring melodic whistles, rhythmic calls, and even mimicry of other birds. Imagine them as feathered DJs with built-in miniature sound effects libraries, serenading the forest with their musical prowess!

Symbiotic Symphony: Indian Pittas play a vital role in the forest ecosystem. By controlling insect populations, they help maintain a healthy balance in the undergrowth, contributing to the thriving tapestry of life in the forest floor. These feathered pest controllers are vital threads in the web of forest biodiversity.

Cultural Charmers: In some Indian cultures, the Indian Pitta is associated with good luck, prosperity, and the hidden secrets of the forest. Its vibrant plumage and elusive nature inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's diverse and hidden ecosystems.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Indian Pittas are the same! Different populations across the Indian subcontinent boast subtle variations in plumage color and song dialects, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.