Rainbow pitta

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Rainbow pitta
Pitta iris.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pittidae
Genus: Pitta
Species: P. iris
Binomial name
Pitta iris
Gould, 1842

The rainbow pitta (Pitta iris) is a small passerine bird in the family Pittidae, endemic to northern Australia. A colourful bird, it has a velvet black head with brown stripes above the eye, dark green upper parts, pale blue shoulders, black underparts and an olive green tail. It feeds on insects, crustaceans and other small animals and builds an untidy, spherical nest. It is a shy forest bird but is locally common and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated it as being of "least concern".

Description[edit]

It has a velvet black head and underparts, green upperparts, pale blue shoulder and olive green tail. It has a black bill, pink legs, brown eye and reddish brown streak along each side of its crown. Both sexes are similar, with the female being slightly smaller and duller than the male.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

An Australian endemic, the rainbow pitta lives in the forests of northern Australia. As with other pittas, it is a secretive and shy bird. The diet consists mainly of insects, arthropods and small animals. The female lays three to four glossy cream eggs with blotches inside its large domed nest.

Locally common throughout its limited range, the rainbow pitta is evaluated as being of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

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