Naming of Indian Pitta
The name Pitta comes from the Telugu word meaning "small bird". Local names in India are based on the colours and their behaviours such as the time of calling and these include Naorang, Nauranga, Shumcha, Dao bui yegashi, Navaranga or Hariyo, Arumani kuruvi, Kathu-alechi, Thotta kalla, Polanki pitta, Ponnangi pitta; Kavi Navaranga and Avichchiya.
Concentration of Indian Pitta
Indian Pitta is a passerine bird native to the Indian subcontinent. It inhabits scrub jungle, deciduous and dense evergreen forest.
Breeding of Indian Pitta
The breeding of Indian Pitta is mainly in the forests of the Himalayan Mountain Range, hills of Central and western India (Western Ghats Mountain Range in India).
Migration of Indian Pitta
Indian Pitta migrates to other parts of the peninsula in winter. Although very colourful, they are usually shy and hidden in the undergrowth where they hop and pick insects on the forest floor. They have a distinctive two note whistling call which may be heard at dawn and dusk. It is considered Least Concern by IUCN as its range is very large.
Structure of Indian Pitta
Indian Pitta is a small stubby-tailed bird that is mostly seen on the floor of forests or under dense undergrowth, foraging on insects in leaf litter. It has long, strong legs, a very short tail and stout bill, with a buff coloured crown stripe, black coronal stripes, a thick black eye stripe and white throat and neck. The upperparts of Indian Pitta are green, with a blue tail, the under parts buff, with bright red on the lower belly and vent. The bird hops on the ground to forage and has been known to get trapped in ground traps meant for small mammals. It has been suggested that the width of the coronal stripe may differ in the sexes.
Voice of Indian Pitta
It is more often heard than seen and has a distinctive loud two-note whistle wheeet-tieu or wieet-pyou or sometimes, a triple note hh-wit-wiyu. They have a habit of calling once or twice, often with neighbouring individuals joining in, at dawn or dusk leading to their common name of "Six-O-Clock" bird in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Distribution of Indian Pitta
Indian Pittas breed mainly in the Himalayan foothills from the Margalla hills northern Pakistan in the west to at least Nepal and possibly up to Sikkim in the east. They also breed in the hills of central India and in the Western Ghats south to Karnataka. They migrate to all parts of peninsular India and Sri Lanka in winter. Exhausted birds may turn up inside homes. They are rare in the drier regions of India.
Feedings of Indian Pitta
Indian Pittas roost in trees. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates that they usually pick up from the ground or leaf litter. They have also been noted to take kitchen food scraps from the ground.
Breeding Season of Indian Pitta
Indian Pitta breeds during the south-west monsoon from June to August, with peaks in June in central India, and in July in northern India.
Nests of Indian Pitta
The nest of Indian Pitta is a globular structure with a circular opening on one side built on the ground or on low branches. It is made up of dry leaves and grasses. The clutch is four to five eggs which are very glossy white and spherical with spots and speckles of deep maroon or purple.