Dr Chua Ee Kiam has generously agreed to share his image of a sleeping Banded Pitta (Pitta guajana) that he encountered in Danum Valley in Sabah, Malaysia recently (left).
Dr Chua recounts: “A Banded Pitta was peacefully asleep with its head beneath its wing. It was perched on a small branch at chest level perhaps to avoid snakes and other animals whose presence may cause the branch to move or vibrate. I have not seen such brilliant colours and never at such close-up. And it was so tempting to capture such an exquisite bird. The bird was left to continue its slumber.“
We first posted “What does a tailorbird do at night” in August 2007 showcasing a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) sleeping in Taman Negara, Malaysia. Since then we have received images of Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) and Common Tailorbird as well as a Chestnut-naped Forktail (Enicurus ruficapillus).
Much as we do not encourage people to disturb sleeping birds, we do need to document them for scientific purposes. Photographers are urged to restrain from disturbing the sleeping birds excessively when photographing them.
Dr Chua Ee Kiam
Note: Thanks to Ashley Ng and Daisy O’Neill, see responses below, we have the proper identification of the pitta and made the relevant corrections. The bird was wrongly stated as Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis). The title of this piece has similarly been changed.