Banded pitta, scientifically known as Hydrornis irena is belongs to the family Pittidae. It can grow up to 23 cm. Both sexes have a clearly visible broad yellow supercilium which grades into the deep orange on the nape. They are also have a black central crown stripe, broad eye lines, a golden brown mantle, deep blue tail, white streaks on its wings and throat with a yellowish tinge on the sides of its neck. To differentiate both sexes, the male entire underparts are covered by dark blue with orange bands across the breast. Meanwhile, the female entire underparts are marked with narrower buff brown and black bands. H. irena forages in the ground storeys either singly or in pairs. This species is locally common at low elevations found in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java. [Source: MyBis]
During the recent Chinese New Year holidays, I've made a trip to Kedah with my close friend Dr. Shaharudin Abdullah from Kuala Terengganu, to photograph the beautiful Malayan banded pitta. I was at the location for two days i.e. 1/2/2022 and 2/2/2022 and thankfully, managed to photograph the pitta on both days. Looking at it for the first time with our own eyes gave us the sense of awe to be able to witness such a beautiful bird. Only the male pitta came out to feed on the meal worms. Female pitta never showed up.
I am pretty sure this will not be the last visit to Kedah. There are other target birds that I didn't manage to photograph, like the chestnut-necklaced partridge, Blyth's frogmouth and white-crowned hornbill. It was unfortunate that the bird guide that we have booked, decided not to guide us a week before my trip, for whatever reason. So, being the first time birding in Kedah, I could not get all the target birds that I wanted. Luckily, a nice gentleman helped me to find the pitta port. In sya Allah, I'll be back there again, with a proper bird guide!
Name: Malayan banded pitta (male)
Scientific: Hydrornis irena
Malay: Burung Pacat Belang Malaya / Burung Pacat Berjalur
IUCN Red List (v3.1, 2016): Near Threatened
Gear: SONY α1 + SEL200600G
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This is the photography journey of Nur Ismail Photography where all the experiences from this year onwards will be shared with the audience. In collaboration with NiSi Malaysia, Leofoto, SONY Malaysia and Skylum Software. Thanks for viewing!