Malaysian Birds


From the family of Pittidae

Pittas are considered as passerine birds and most of the birds are found in tropical Asia and Australia. Coming to the origin and meaning of the word "Pitta", the closest explanation is that the name may come from Andhra Pradesh district of India where in Telugu language the word is a common term referring to small birds.

 Pittas are roundish bodied birds with longish strong legs and long feet. Their tails are short and at the same time stout. The bills are straight & stout, some with slight decurve. This colorful birds are being sort after as caged birds. Some documents mentioned a figure of 48 birds recorded in the 19th century. Today, the record is still disputed but could be safely pegged as 32 species still remaining. Example of the their real existence was shown by official records about the sighting of the few remaining birds of the species of Gurney's Pitta in Khao Nor Cuchi in Thailand.


  1, Black-crowned Pitta  
  2. Blue-banded Pitta  
  3. Blue-headed Pitta  
  4. Blue-winged Pitta  
  5. Bornean Banded-Pitta


  6. Fairy Pitta  
  7. Garnet Pitta


  8. Giant Pitta


  9. Hooded Pitta  
  10. Malayan Banded-Pitta  
  11.Mangrove Pitta  
  12. Rusty-naped Pitta  

Pittas are terrestrial birds hunting in the areas of the darker undergrowth. They are diurnal birds and roam their territory alone. Pittas are particular to calls, which is a weakness in that they will challenge the imitations of their calls. Earthworm is their favorite food followed by snails and insects. Pitta use their beak to pick aside aside leaves to reach food that are taking refuge under these shelters. Naturally they too, do dig in to locate earth worms. Could they locate these worms through the ability to smell?

Pittas are very difficult birds to meet up with. Their discreet lifestyles and their strong sense of detecting the presence of predator helps them is staying out of sight. They are around but remains unseen. It is not true that all Pittas choose the dark undergrowth of deep impenetrable forest. On the contrary, there are those few preferring open areas in and around urbanized places as well. So it is extreme when coming to choice of hiding places in remote forests or next to our house but all Pittas are good in staying out of sight.

It is not about the pain taken to reach these inaccessible spots for one - but the method to be used by birders to stay out of sight. Any action taken should be able to convince the Pitta to return to their normal routine. Otherwise it would a sad and frustrating situation involving hours of the bird calling and birds waiting just to catch an occasional glimpses. No opportunity at all for photography.



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