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Pittas belong to the order Passeriformes and family Pittidae. All 30 species of pitta are grouped into one genus. Their closest relatives are broadbills (Eurylaimidae) and asities (Philepittidae). Pittas are small to medium sized birds (15 to 29 cm long) and can be quite colorful; bright blues, greens, reds and yellows are commonly seen. The bright coloration is usually on the birds’ underparts or is hidden when their wings are folded. This makes the birds more difficult for predators to spot. Males and females look alike in some species and are dimorphic in others. Pittas are stout birds with long legs, short tails and strong bills.
Pittas are monogamous and both males and females take part in raising young. They primarily eat invertebrates (annelid worms and arthropods) that they find by digging through leaf litter on the forest floor. They are found in the Ethiopian, Oriental, and Australian regions and prefer tropical forest habitats. Because their preferred habitat is disappearing rapidly as a result of human disturbance, many species of pitta are of conservation concern.