Banded Pitta: A Kaleidoscope of Nature’s Brilliance”

This is one of three separate species of banded pittas that were lumped together as one. Due to their vocal and visual differences, the species was recently split. The Malayan banded pitta (Hydrornis irena) is a species in the Pittidae family. The Malayan Banded Pitta can be found in Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. It was previously considered conspecific with the Bornean and Javan banded pittas.

Together, they were referenced as the banded, recently split species listed as near threatened based on constant destruction of its habitats and capture for the illegal bird trade, which are suspected to be driving a moderately rapid decline in its population. More research is needed into the impact of these threats, the results of which could influence its Red List status. 20-23 cm. Moreover, the gorgeous and amazingly colored Pitta species male has a black crown and broad mask, with a wide, bright yellow supercilium, that becomes flame orange on the nape. The underparts are deep blue, save for orange barring on the breast sides.

Moreover, the upper parts are plain chestnut-brown; the rump and tail are deep blues. The beautiful wings are blackish-brown, with a white spot in the primaries and some white in the outer secondary. The median and greater coverts are broadly tipped white. The chin and throat are also white. However, female birds are similar except for white underparts with fine black barring, and juveniles and immature birds have bold, pure white spotting on the upper wing coverts. It is called locally common, though now infrequent in Thailand and decidedly local in Sumatra, though the population size has not been quantified and further research is required.

The species’ population is suspected to be undergoing a reasonably rapid decline, owing primarily to ongoing deforestation and hunting for trade. The species inhabits lowland floodplain forest but is also found at higher elevations, maybe up to 1,500 m. Indeed, it appears to depend to a large extent on lowland evergreen forests and swamp forests.

It favors the interior of the primary forest but is also found in secondary forest, although observations recommend that it does not persevere well in altered habitats. Its diet perhaps comprises invertebrates and berries, which it forages for on the ground and in understory vegetation. Breeding probably takes place throughout the year.

In spite of some apparent tolerance of habitat alteration, it is threatened by forest loss and degradation, apparently driven by timber extraction and agricultural expansion, as well as capture for the illegal bird trade either through trapping or nest-raiding. The bird is now considered rare in Thailand, where the majority of lowland forest has been logged. Moreover, the same situation exists in Malaysia, where the bird has almost disappeared from Panti Forest Reserve since 1994. The species comes from a number of protected areas across its outsized range, including Khao Nor Chuchi Wildlife Sanctuary (Thailand), Taman Negara National Park (Malaysia), and Way Kambas National Park (Sumatra). No other targeted conservation actions are recognized for this species.

Source: Birdlife

Malayan Banded Pitta can be found in Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. It was previously considered conspecific with the Bornean and Javan banded pittas.
Malayan Banded Pitta can be found in Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. It was previously considered conspecific with the Bornean and Javan banded pittas.

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