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Typical pitta
Green-breasted (left) and African (right) Pittas
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Tyranni
Infraorder: Eurylaimides
Family: Pittidae
Genus: Pitta
Vieillot, 1816
  • Pitta angolensis
  • Pitta reichenowi
  • Pitta brachyura
  • Pitta megarhyncha
  • Pitta moluccensis
  • Pitta sordida
  • Pitta nympha
  • Pitta versicolor
  • Pitta maxima
  • Pitta elegans
  • Pitta anerythra
  • Pitta steerii
  • Pitta superba
  • Pitta iris

Pitta is a genus of birds in the Pittidae, or pitta family.


They are secretive, brightly coloured birds that forage on the forest floor. They are long-legged and short-tailed with rounded wings.[1] Nest construction, incubation and rearing of nestlings is performed by both parents.[2] Incubation is completed in some 17 days, and the nestlings are altricial and nidicolous.[2]

The Antpittas, a Neotropical bird family of some 50 species, resemble the pittas in their hopping gait, furtive behaviour, long legs and short tails.


It contains 15 species, distributed from Africa, through southern, eastern and south-eastern Asia, to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Australia. It was formerly the sole genus in the family, containing 31 species.[1] However, following a 2006 study, two other genera, Erythropitta and Hydrornis, were split off, though all members of the family continue to be known as “pittas”.[3]



  1. ^ a b Zimmerman, Dale A.; et al. (1999). Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University Press. p. 495. ISBN 0691010226. 
  2. ^ a b Tarboton, Warwick (2001). A Guide to the Nests and Eggs of Southern African Birds. Cape Town: Struik. p. 141. ISBN 1-86872-616-9. 
  3. ^ Irestedt, M., Ohlson, J. I., Zuccon, D., Källersjö, M. & Ericson, P. G. P. (2006). "Nuclear DNA from old collections of avian study skins reveals the evolutionary history of the Old World suboscines (Aves: Passeriformes)" (PDF). Zoologica Scripta. 35: 567–580. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2006.00249.x. 


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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