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Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis)


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skfoo

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Mar 15, 2003
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Early this year, Singapore Botanic Garden was graced by the presence of a few rare birds. Blue-winged Pitta is one of them. It gave some of us a chance to have a glimpse at the behaviour of this lovely bird.


(I have to thank Ashley for this one (my first sighting) as he accompanied me to look for the pitta when I have given up hope to look for it that day).

“Brightly coloured and stockily built, the pittas are a remarkable family of tropical forest birds centered in Southeast Asia. Their jewel like hues, combined with their rarity, have given them a particular charisma among songbirds, similar to that of birds of paradise”



The word “pitta” came from Madras area of South India, and merely signifies “bird.” It was first applied to the Indian pitta in 1713.

Pittas are solitary. Only 8 pitta species (Blue-winged Pitta is one of them) are known to undertake regular migration. They are nocturnal migrants.

Pittas spends much if their time searching for small animal food, particularly worms, snails and insects among the leaf litter and humus of the forest floor.



Most pittas perched well above ground with their bill tucked under the wing when they roost at night.

Though we do not have a chance to see their courtship in Singapore (because they don’t breed here), it is interesting to note that the male initiates a courtship by confronting the female in an erect posture, With wings spread, he then performs a courtship dance involving vertical movements of the body, accompanied by loud calls. If the female responses in kind, mating takes place and the male starts to build the nest with her assistance. Both sexes share incubation and brooding duties, along with feeding of the young and the removal of the fecal sacs. They may drive the young away shortly after they have fledged and lay a second clutch.

(Information obtained from Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds)

Blue-winged Pitta are uncommon winter visitors and passage migrant throughout mainland. (Birds –An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds of Singapore)

Wishing all happy birding and a fruitful year ahead! :)
 

skfoo

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raptor84/Bug/slaam,

Thanks for the comments.

Though I do not post as much as last year and the year before, I hope my future posting will contain images and interesting information on the subjects to share with viewers/friends in this forum. Knowing more things about the subjects adds to the fun in nature photography. :)

slaam said:
you said nocturnal so you took this in the night with a flash? must have been hard!
What I meant was the subject migrate at night (nocturnal migrants). But it can be spotted foraging for food among the undergrowth during day time and late evening. ;)
 

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