The Rainbow Pitta (Pitta iris) belongs to the pitta family, Pittidae, an endemic species of north-western Australia. There, Rainbow Pittas replace their close relative, Noisy Pittas, in monsoon vine forests. The species is sedentary and rather solitary, and even large patches of forest thicket, no more than several hectares in size, are occupied by individual birds or pairs year-round.
There are many similarities between Rainbow Pittas and Noisy Pittas in terms of their habits. Their prey is snatched and broken open by snatching and poking with their bill, which is an unobtrusive way to forage on the forest floor. They hop from leaf litter to leaf litter, poking at hard-shelled creatures. An important part of their diet is snails, worms, and insects that live on the ground.
In early summer, just before the arrival of the monsoon, pittas become more vocal at the onset of breeding. It is common for males to climb trees, then chirp out their territorial whistles from a vantage point early in the morning and late in the afternoon, mostly from vantage points on high branches. The Rainbow Pitta roosts in trees as well. Black-breasted Pitta is another name for it. Approximately 160-180 mm is the size of Rainbow Pitta.
There is no difference between the sexes when it comes to identification. The head is velvety black; over each eye is a thick red-brown stripe. A glistening mid-green back, rump, and wings; iridescent sky-blue shoulders grading to cobalt at the edges; outer flight feathers black with white centers. Lower belly and crissum are scarlet with tan-buff fringes; throat and upper belly are velvety blacks.
There is a broad green tip on the tail, which is black. The eyes are dark brown in color. Black is the color of the bill. The feet are grey-brown to dark grey in color. IMMATURES: Same as adults, except duller; throat dusky, speckled off-white; blue shoulder patches small; red-brown head stripes remnants. As soon as a fledging bird reaches adulthood, its plumage grows. Rainbow Pitta’s call is a loud, clear whistle, want-a-whip, similar to Noisy Pitta’s.
During the months of November to March, birds nest and breed. A large domed nest, similar to that of Noisy Pitta, varying in depth from 110 mm to 40 mm, partly open, 110 mm in diameter, a line of decayed wood and grass, and lined with sticks, leaves, grasses, dead bamboo; in mangroves, bamboo clumps, around trees, on the ground or up to 3 meters above the ground.
Three or four glossy, cream-colored eggs with sepia blotches and dull purple-grey markings, 30 x 24 mm in size, are laid by the bird. A Rainbow Pitta can be found on Melville Island, Groote Eylandt, and coastal Arnhem Land, NT, and north-western Kimberleys, WA, as well as in pockets of vine forest in coastal Arnhem Land, NT. There are no races. Read More – The vibrantly Colored Red-bellied Pitta