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Pittas: Pittidae

Hooded Pitta (pitta Sordida): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Hooded pittas have a black head, thin throat, and bill; dark greenish upperparts and wings; light wing bands; dark green underparts; black flight feathers; a black tail with blue-green tips and red underneath; black belly patch and lower belly; and pale brown to pinkish feet. Females are slightly duller than males. Adults are 6.3 to 7.5 inches (16 to 19 centimeters) long and weigh between 1.6 and 2.5 ounces (42 and 70 grams).

Geographic range: Hooded pittas are found throughout Southeast Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas to Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea.

Habitat: Hooded pittas inhabit forested and wooded areas including primary rainforests, secondary forests, bamboo forests, scrublands, overgrown plantations, and cultivated areas. They are found from sea level to 4,900 feet (1,500 meters).

Hooded pittas live in forested and wooded areas, where they eat a variety of insects and larvae, as well as earthworms, snails, and berries. (Illustration by Michelle Meneghini. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Their diet consists mostly of insects, beetles, ants, termites, cockroaches, bugs, various larvae (LAR-vee), earthworms, snails, and berries. They hop quickly along the ground among dead leaves in search of food, and often feed in pairs about 16 to 64 feet (5 to 30 meters) apart.

Behavior and reproduction: Hooded pittas are strong fliers that are found alone or in pairs. When alarmed, or in order to distract other birds, they display such features as bowing, head-bobbing, wing flicking, and wing/tail fanning. They breed from February to August. Their call varies depending on region, but generally is a double-noted fluty whistle like "whew-whew." The dome-shaped nests are usually on the ground, made of roots, leaves (often bamboo), rootlets, moss, and twigs. The inside is lined with finer material. A short path, made of twigs, usually leads up to the entrance. Females usually lay three or four eggs that are white with gray, brown, or dark purple spots. Both sexes share nest construction, incubation, and care of the young. The incubation period is fifteen to sixteen days. The fledgling period is about sixteen days.

Hooded pittas and people: There is no known significance to humans.

Conservation status: Hooded pittas are not threatened. They are common throughout most of their range. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsPittas: Pittidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Hooded Pitta (pitta Sordida): Species Accounts, African Pitta (pitta Angolensis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, PITTAS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS