Pittas find new haven in Odisha districts


  • The first-ever census of mangrove pitta birds was conducted in two coastal districts of Odisha, yielding 179 sightings.
  • Mangrove pitta birds are a nearly threatened species located in a few regions of eastern India, notably Odisha’s Bhitarkanika and West Bengal’s Sundarbans.

Points to Ponder:

  • A census of mangrove pitta birds was undertaken for the first time in the districts of Kendrapara and Jagatsingpur in Odisha, India.
  • Mangrove pitta birds are a near-endangered species found only in a few regions of eastern India, including Bhitarkanika in Odisha and the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
  • The census concentrated on the mangrove patches along the two districts’ beaches.
  • The census was conducted using the point count method, with 32 teams deployed in 32 pre-identified parts.
  • To perform the census, the teams either hiked into the forest or used country boats in waterways.
  • The census gathered data on the distribution, habitat, and breeding habits of birds in coastal mangroves.
  • During the census, 179 unique mangrove pitta birds were counted.
  • The biggest number of birds was discovered in the mangroves near the mouth of the Mahipura River within Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • The mangrove pitta forages on the ground and rests on trees and is found in India’s coastal mangrove forests.
  • Gopinath Sudarshan Yadav, the DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove Forest Division, provided the above information concerning the census and the mangrove pitta birds.

Pitta birds

  • Pitta birds are small to medium-sized passerine bird family.
  • Pitta birds are found in tropical parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia and number around 40 species.
  • They are famous among birdwatchers and avian enthusiasts due to their brilliantly colored plumage.
  • Pitta birds live in a wide range of environments, including forests, mangroves, grasslands, and wetlands.
  • They primarily consume insects, snails, and other tiny invertebrates.
  • Many Pitta bird species are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as killing and trapping for the pet trade.
  • Some Pitta bird species are migratory, traveling considerable distances each year to mate and feed.
  • Pitta birds are significant seed dispersers as well as indicators of the health of tropical forest ecosystems.
  • Pitta bird conservation activities include habitat restoration and protection, as well as steps to prevent hunting and trapping.
  • The Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) is a nearly threatened species found in a few regions of eastern India, notably Odisha’s Bhitarkanika and West Bengal’s Sundarbans.