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Pittas find new haven in Odisha districts

Published: 20th Apr, 2023

Context

In a first-ever census of mangrove pitta birds carried out in two coastal districts of Odisha, 179 such birds were sighted.

About

  • Scientific name: Pitta megharencha
  • It is a species of passerinebird in the family Pittidae.
  • Super-species: It is part of a superspecieswhere it is placed with the Indian pitta, the fairy pitta and the blue-winged pitta but has no recognized subspecies.
  • Distribution: It is native to the eastern Indian Subcontinentand western Southeast Asia.
    • Its range extends from India to Malaysia and Indonesia.
    • It can be found in few pockets of eastern India, including Odisha’s Bhitarkanika and West Bengal’s Sundarbans.
  • IUCN Status: These pitta species have fragmented distribution and considered 'Near Threatened' by IUCN.
  • Features: A colourful bird, it has a black head with brown crown, white throat, greenish upper parts, buff underparts and reddish vent area.
  • Findings of first census: The mangrove pitta is found in coastal mangrove forests of India, foraging on the ground and resting on the trees.
    • A total of 179 individual mangrove pitta birds were counted.
    • The highest concentration of the birds has been found in the mangroves near the Mahipura river mouth inside the Bhitarkanika National Park.

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