933. Pitta brachyura.
The Indian Pitta.
Corvus brachyurus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 158 (1766). Corvus brachyurus, var. bengalensis, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 376 (1788). Turdus coronatus, P. L. S. Mull. Natursyst., Suppl. p. 144 (1776). Pitta triostegus (Sparrm.), Blyth, Cat. p. 157. Pitta brachyura (Linn.), Gould, Cent. pl. 23; Hume, Cat. no. 345 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 169; Sclater, Cat. B. M. xiv, p. 423; Oares in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 285. Pitta bengalensis (Gmel), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 184; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 503. Brachyurus bengalensis (Gmel.), Elliot, Mon. Pitt. pl. vi. Pitta coronata (P. L. S. Mull.), Hume, N. &. E. p. 224; Legge, Birds Ceylon, p. 687.
The Yellow-breasted Ground-Thrush, Jerd.; Nourang, Hind; Shumcha, Beng.; Pona-inki, Tel.; Avitchia, Ayitta, Cing.
Coloration. Forehead and crown pale fulvous, with a broad median black band from the forehead to the nape; a narrow supercilium and the feathers under the eye white; a very broad black band passing under the eye, over the ear-coverts, and meeting the median coronal band on the nape ; back, scapulars, and upper rump green; lower rump, upper tail-coverts, and lesser wing-coverts shining pale blue ; tail black, tipped with dull blue ; median coverts and tertiaries green; greater-coverts green, with the bases of the outer feathers black; winglet and primary-coverts black; primaries black, each with a basal white patch and a grey tip; secondaries black, tipped with white, and with the terminal portion of the outer web margined with dull blue; chin and throat white; remainder of lower plumage fulvous, the middle of the lower abdomen and the under tail-coverts crimson; under wing-coverts black, with a patch of white near the edge of the wing.
Iris dark brown; bill blackish, paling to reddish brown on culmen; legs and feet pale purplish fleshy (Butler).
Length about 7.5; tail 1.8; wing 4.1; tarsus 1.4; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. The whole of India from Eastern Rajputana and Garhwal to Sikhim and Calcutta, extending south to Cape Comorin and Ceylon. This Pitta is a local migrant, being found in the southern part of its range in the winter, and in the central and northern portions in the hot weather and rains, but a certain number of birds appear to be constant residents in all parts of its range suited to its habits.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Central Provinces of India in July and August, building a huge globular nest of twigs and leaves on the ground or on low branches. The eggs are of the usual type, glossy white, marked with maroon and purple, and measure about 1.01 by .86.