Effectively – I solely noticed two species, the commonest ones at Sepilok, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. However they’re nicely value their very own submit, although I can’t actually write an excessive amount of about them. Not that they want many phrases anyway.
One is the Black-crowned Pitta, a species endemic to Borneo with quite a lot of aliases together with black-headed pitta, black-and-crimson pitta, black-and-scarlet pitta, and black-crowned garnet pitta (if you wish to establish it by its monograms on its shirts, they at all times begin with the letter B and finish with a P).
The outline of this pitta on eBird does its seems to be justice: “Dazzling pitta … Midnight blue above and blinding scarlet beneath, with a darkish head, vivid blue wing coverts, and a glowing silver line trailing backward behind the attention.” Makes me really feel a bit unhappy no person has ever referred to as me a stunning man …
The Latin species identify of ussheri is derived from one Herbert Taylor John Ussher 1836-1880), a British diplomat who presumably contributed his justifiable share of colonial violence and racism (in any other case he wouldn’t have been promoted quite a lot of occasions) however who additionally was a naturalist who wrote “Notes on the ornithology of the Gold Coast”.
Typical for the sort of particular person, he died younger, at about age 44 – undecided why however Europeans have been typically not superb at dealing with tropical illnesses. The British then posthumously named a fort after him (Ussher Fort in Ghana) – not an important consolidation when you find yourself already lifeless, however then, not many issues are. Wikipedia helpfully provides that these days, the fort opening hours are 9:00am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Saturdays together with public holidays.
The decision of this pitta is attention-grabbing and fairly attribute – the HBW calls it ventriloquial, which suggests “The artwork of projecting one’s voice so that it appears to come from one other supply, as from a wood determine”.
And certainly, after I first noticed the pitta, I assumed there was a second one round however then realized that the one I noticed was making the sound I heard – however with out opening its invoice and with out the sound clearly coming from the route of the fowl.
The HBW is a bit unsure about its conservation standing, calling it Least Concern in a single sentence after which Close to Threatened within the subsequent. It is perhaps about time for the HBW (now hosted by Cornell College) to rent some part-time editor utilizing the cash I pay for my subscription to the positioning.
One research discovered that there appears to be some work sharing among the many breeding adults – the male had the next visitation price of the nest whereas the feminine was the one one which brooded. If Adam Smith had recognized this, he would have identified that his pin manufacturing unit instance roughly has the identical rationale behind it.
The opposite is the Hooded Pitta – a pitta that could be a bit simpler to look at because it comes out within the open a bit extra. It additionally fortunately calls within the early morning, no less than the place I discovered it, a service extremely appreciated by fowl watchers like me.
Nonetheless, it’s cursed with a fairly unappealing species identify – sordida, or “shabby”, which makes you wonder if the particular person giving the species this identify had truly ever seen the fowl. Because it doesn’t look shabby in any respect.
The truth is, eBird rightly calls it a “dark-headed great thing about tropical forests”.
The HBW states that there are 12 subspecies however supplies solely 2 pictures, one in every of a male and one in every of a feminine, each of which look precisely the identical to me, besides that the feminine seems to be a bit fatter (potential discrimination?).
Reportedly, it’s the most widespread of all pittas, which apparently requires the existence of so many subspecies. Or is that this the improper logic?
Sadly, the Hooded Pitta is a frequent sufferer of collisions with buildings, for instance in Singapore (supply).
Sadly, in response to the HBW, this pitta can be continuously caught and offered within the cage fowl commerce in Indonesia regardless of having protected standing. It is perhaps a good suggestion not solely to move legal guidelines but in addition to implement them – only a thought.
Hooded Pittas are even taken as meals in Assam, in response to the HBW. Humanity is overrated.
Autor Kai Pflug