Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
New records reveal that the species has a fairly widespread distribution across the northeastern part of Dampa making it an important location for this rarely sighted species.
Of the 30 species belonging to the family Pittidae, six are found in India. Of these six, the Blue Pitta is amongst the rarest, never having been photographed alive from India.
Although it’s expected distribution spans across all northeastern states except Sikkim, the bird is rarely sighted. In our recent publication in Indian BIRDS, ‘Records of Blue Pitta (Pitta cyanea) in Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, and a review of its status in north-eastern India’ by Singh and Macdonald, we report confirmed presence of this bird from Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram in northeast India, established through photos obtained from camera traps.
During a collaborative camera trapping study conducted in Dampa Tiger Reserve by WildCRU and Ecosystem-India, between December 2014 and March 2015, we obtained seven photographs of Blue Pitta on camera traps in February 2015. However, this is not the first time this bird is being reported from Dampa. Previous bird surveys in Dampa TR (details in the above reported publication) have reported Blue Pittas either through direct sightings or through calls. Collective analyses of these records reveal that the species has a fairly widespread distribution across the northeastern part of Dampa within an elevation gradient of 400 to 600 metres making Dampa an important location for this rarely sighted species.
Note: We strongly discourage the use of call backs for the purpose of bird watching.
Please see a related post on Conservation India: A Dead Blue Pitta.