(1318) Pitta oatesi.
The Fulvous Pitta.
Hydremia oaten Hume, Str. Feath., i, p. 477 (1873) (Tenasserim). Pitta oatesi. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 390,
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Resembles P. nepalensis very closely but has no blue at all on the nape and hind-neck; the upper back is generally a rather more decided green and there is often a trace of blue on the rump; the pink tinge on the throat seems to be more constant.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel; bill dark horny-brown, the lower mandible, gape and edges of the upper mandible paler and tinged with salmon-pink; legs and feet fleshy or fleshy-pink. The young bird has the iris brown surrounded by a ring of grey.
Measurements. Wing 117 to 128 mm.; tail 62 to 66 mm.; tarsus 54 to 56 mm,; culmen 24 to 26 mm.
The Young bird is like that of the Blue-naped Pitta but is darker above with paler, almost white spots ; below there is only a very slight pink tinge, the large spots being almost pure white."
Distribution. Eastern Burma and South Shan States; Tenasserim as far South as Perak in the Federated Malay States. It is comparatively rare, but is found occasionally West of the Pegu Yomas in the extreme South of the Arakan Yomas and is common in the Pegu Yomas.
Nidification. I have received a nest from Perak with the parent-birds which was found in January; other nests from near Amherst taken in April, from near Bassein taken in April and May and, finally, from near Tavoy taken in March. Both nests and eggs are quite indistinguishable from those of Pitta nepalensis but this species seems always to breed in dense evergreen forest. The forty-four eggs I have measured average 28.5 x 24.3 mm,: maxima 31.3 x 25.2 mm.; minima 25.9 x 24.0 mm. and 27.0 x 23.0 mm.
Habits. The Fulvous Pitta only differs in its habits from the Blue-naped Pitta in keeping more entirely to the deepest forest, where it frequents ravines and broken ground, feeding on insects, worms etc., turning over the dead leaves and rubbish in its quest for food. It has the same beautiful loud double whistle, or call, which can be heard an immense distance and which, like that of the Blue-naped Pitta, is often uttered on moonlight nights.