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Mangrove Pitta bird found in Odisha

In a first-ever census of its kind in the country, forest officials in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika have sighted 179 mangrove pitta birds, which are known for their exotic and vibrant colours. These beautiful birds are found exclusively in the mangrove forest areas of Bhitarkanika in Odisha and Sundarban in West Bengal. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the species has been assessed and classified as “Near Threatened”.

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India's First Mangrove Pitta Bird Census Conducted In Odisha's Bhitarkanika - odishabytes

About Mangrove Pitta bird:

  • The Mangrove Pitta bird’s habitats are limited to mangrove forests in Bhitarkanika of Odisha and Sundarban in West Bengal.
  • The first census in India was conducted to analyze the population of these birds.
  • The highest number of these birds were sighted in the Mahipura river mouth area of the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary.
  • Mangrove Pitta birds are colorful with black heads, brown crowns, white throats, greenish upper parts, buff under-parts, and reddish vent area.
  • They feed on crustaceans, mollusks, and insects found in mangrove forests.
  • The objective of the census is to monitor the growth pattern of these birds and assess whether they should be listed as endangered in the future.

About Bhitarkanika National Park :

Bhitarkanika National Park

  • Bhitarkanika National Park is located in Orissa and covers an area of 672 square kilometers.
  • It is the second largest Mangrove ecosystem in India and is a network of creeks and canals.
  • The park is fed by rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, and Patasala, which create a unique ecosystem enriched with salts.
  • The area has tropical and subtropical vegetation and species.
  • The park is known for breeding saltwater crocodiles and hosting the largest colony of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles at Gahirmatha Beach.
  • There is a heronry at Surajpore creek where thousands of birds nest and perform aerial acrobatics.
  • Bhitarkanika is also home to eight varieties of Kingfisher birds.

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