Meet the Malayan banded pitta: A striking colorful bird whose beauty is only enhanced by the burning orange eye line that burns like lava creating a glowing jewel of avian beauty!

The Malayan banded pitta (Hydrornis irena), is a species of bird in the Pittidae family. An extremely colorful bird that sports a black head with a yellow/orange streak above both eyes, an orange nape, and a lemon-yellow throat. The chest area is barred with orange and dark blue finishing with a blue belly. The back is a chestnut brown finished off with a blue tail.


This species is endemic to Thailand, Malaysia, and Sumatra where it primarily lives in primary lowland evergreen forests, including swamps at altitudes upwards of 5,000 feet.


It is also thought to exist in secondary forests, but may not do as well in this environment.

The diet for the Malayan banded pitta consists mainly of fruit and insects as well as any similar invertebrates it can find.

Breeding season for this bird differs throughout its range, however, when ready a globular-shaped nest is built with broad leaves, small sticks, and grass with a side entrance. This is usually placed in a low bush or sapling into which 2 to 5 eggs are laid.

Having lost much of their primary forest in Thailand and the Malayan peninsular, these birds are now uncommon in these locations. More pressure has been placed on its population by the illegal cage-bird trade. For these reasons the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being “near threatened“.