Family Pittas (Pittidae)

Least Concern

Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)


French: Brève du Bengale German: Bengalenpitta Spanish: Pita india

[Corvus] brachyurus


, 1766,

Moluccas and Sri Lanka; error = Sri Lanka


Formerly treated by many authors as conspecific with P. nympha, but differs in morphology, plumage and vocalizations. Has also been treated as conspecific with P. elegans. Monotypic.


NE Pakistan (Margalla Hills) and in foothills of Himalayas from W Himachal Pradesh (Dharmsala, Kangra) E to C Nepal and perhaps Sikkim, and S to W & C India (from Gujarat to S West Bengal, S at least to Bombay); winters S to S India (S from Goa) and Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 47–66 g. Adult has top of head dark buff with black central stripe, white supercilium, broad black band from lores to nape with conspicious white line beneath... read more


Call a short double whistle, “wieet-pyou”, “whee-tiou” and similar,... read more


Inhabits deciduous and evergreen forest with dense undergrowth in lowland and foothills, as well as... read more

Food and feeding

Various insects, such as termites (Isoptera) and ants, insect larvae, also earthworms, small snails, millipedes (Diplopoda); reported to... read more


Breeds in rainy season, May–Aug, rarely Apr and Sept; Jul–Aug in Pakistan. Nest c. 20 × 15 × 15 cm, shaped like a... read more


Migratory; spends non-breeding season in peninsular India (mostly S of Maharashtra and Madhya... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to scarce, and local. Population in Pakistan (Margalla Hills) estimated to be 18–20 pairs in 1982. Fairly common but local In... read more

Recommended citation

Erritzoe, J. (2019). Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2019).