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Mangrove Pitta by Lim Kim Chye
A member of the Pittidae family, the 20 cm. Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha closely resembles the Indian Pitta with the typical black stripe around the eye, white throat, buff breast and flanks and red belly. However, it has a longer, heavier beak and a dark-brown crown without the characteristic black, coronal stripe. The Mangrove Pitta also has a larger, white wing patch and a distinctively different call – a loud, slurred and repetitive tee-laew, usually given from a high perch. The bird is usually seen hopping in the exposed mud among mangrove roots and adjacent drier land vegetation. It occurs in the Sundarbans region of the Indian subcontinent and its range stretches east till Indonesia. During the breeding season – March to August – it constructs a dome-shaped nest of twigs and leaves either on the banks or in vegetation close to the ground, near the high-tide line.