Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
any of about 23 species of Old World birds constituting the family Pittidae. All are stub tailed, long legged, and short necked. They have a rather stout bill and are 15-27 centimetres (6-10 12 inches) in length. Pittas faintly resemble thrushes and are sometimes known as jewelthrushes. The sexes may be alike or unlike in appearance. Most species are found in the Indo-Malayan region, some ranging to the Solomon Islands; four occur in Australia, two in Africa. The Indian pitta (P. brachyura) is typically colourful, with shimmering blue wing plumage. The blue-winged pitta (P. moluccensis) is common from Burma to Sumatra, and the fairy pitta (P. nympha) breeds in Japan, Korea, and eastern China but winters further south. The three species appear quite similar and may actually be conspecific. Other pittas are also brightly coloured, with some having red, yellow, or purple markings.