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Pittas: Pittidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Hooded Pitta (pitta Sordida): Species Accounts, African Pitta (pitta Angolensis): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, PITTAS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS


Pittas are found from Africa to the Solomon Islands and from Japan through Southeast Asia to New Guinea and Australia. They are mostly found in peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. One species is found in India, two species are found from west-central to east-central Africa, and two species live along the northern and eastern coasts of Australia.

Most pittas inhabit the understory (level of tropical forests nearest ground level) of lowland tropical and subtropical forests. They prefer areas that are moist, such as those near rivers and streams or in shaded ravines. Some pittas inhabit moist, montane (mountain) forests from sea level to elevations of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters).

Food consists of insects, small frogs, snails, snakes, mice, earthworms, and other small vertebrates (animals with a backbone) and invertebrates (animals without a backbone).

People make pets out of pittas, hunt them for food, and enjoy watching them because of their colorful feathers.

One species of pitta is listed as Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction; eight species are listed as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction; and four species are listed as Near Threatened, in danger of becoming threatened with extinction.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds