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Fairy Pitta

Pitta nympha (Temminck & Schlegel, 1850)

Питта-нимфа

2015-05-21
Primorsky Krai
© Dmitriy Korobov

Description

The fairy pitta has a body length of 16-19.5 cm and is easily discernable for its plumage of seven different colors reminiscent of a rainbow. Its back and wing bows are green, scapulars (shoulders) and upper tail coverts are green and cobalt. There is a blue rump on upper tail coverts. The tail is dark green with a cobalt tip, and the tarsi (legs) are yellowish brown.

The fairy pitta has different colors of wing coverts as well. Its primary coverts are dark blue, secondary coverts are greenish blue, greater and middle coverts are dark green, and lesser coverts are cobalt or bright blue. The bird’s white patch on each of their brownish-black primaries are noticeable when it flies. Its lower body, including nape (side back), chest, and side, is cream-colored, except for the lower belly and undertail coverts, which are red.

The bird has a chestnut crown. From its forehead to the back of its head is mantled with brown plumage, whereas its median is striped with black from lores (between the eye and the beak) to nape. The off-white supercilia (eyebrows) extend across the nape. The fairy pitta has a white throat and a black beak.

Distinguishing sexes based on appearance and plumage is difficult as there is no significant size difference between males and females.

A species with a similar appearance is the blue-winged pitta, which is larger than the fairy pitta. The blue-winged pitta has buff crown sides and supercilia, rather than the chestnut of the fairy pitta, brighter upper tail coverts, darker yellowish brown belly, and vivid blue on upper wing coverts.

The song of the fairy pitta is clear and whistled kwah-he kwa-wu, which is similar to that of the blue-winged pitta, but longer and slower.

References

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Birds of Russia

Birds of Northern Eurasia

unidentified birds


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