ANIMAL FACTS - Pittas
Pittas are renowned for their ability to use tools; they often use a stone or log to break snail shells.
There are 26 known species of Pittas and three of these live here in Australia. The Rainbow Pitta is endemic to northwestern Australia and is the closest relative to the Noisy Pitta. They are beautifully coloured small birds that stand about 15 centimetres tall and 'hop' about the forest floor. There is not a whole lot known about these shy little birds.
Rainbow Pittas live in rainforest, mangrove and eucalyptus forest. Their distribution is little pockets in vine forests in coastal Arnhem Lands, NT and northwestern Kimberleys, WA. Also Melville Island and Groote Eylandt.
They forage unobtrusively in the leaf litter of the forest floor hopping along, pausing to poke with the bill and to snatch and break open hard-shelled prey. Land snails, worms and ground-living insects are their staple diet.
They are mainly terrestrial birds and breed from November to March. They build a large dome nest, varying to shallower, partly open nest that is approximately 110mm in diameter 40mm deep. They use sticks, leaves, grasses, pieces of dead bamboo to build the outside dome and lined with pieces of decaying wood and grass.