Green-Breasted Pitta

The Green-Breasted Pitta, or Pitta reichenowi, is one of only two pitta species found on the continent. Its distribution is generally restricted to moist lowland forest in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Interestingly, in Uganda the Green-Breasted Pitta occurs between 1,100 and 1,400 meters. Although there are historical records of sightings from Budongo and Mabira Forest Reserves, Kibale National Park is the only reliable site for the pitta in the country. The pitta vocalizes loudly at first light during the summer months of June to August. After locating one displaying at dawn, it is worth searching the general area for a few hours once it gets light, as it pokes about in the leaf litter for prey. Obviously, this is one of Africa's most difficult and sought-after birds, and seeing one is a top highlight in any lifetime of birding. These photographs are all far from perfect, but they do show a Green-Breasted Pitta in natural light feeding on the forest floor, as another hops around nearby. If you ever see one, it is likely to be in conditions just like these.


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