One of the favourite food of the Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) is earthworm. These worms (Annelida) are taken most frequently as the bird forages on the forest floor. The bird brush aside the ground litter with a side sweep of its bill to expose the worms and whatever invertebrates that are hidden below. It also digs into the soft soil with its bill to get at worms.
Once it has the worm between its bill, it pulls it out of the ground before manipulating it for swallowing. The image above by Joseph Yao shows the pitta in the act of tugging the earthworm from its burrow.
The pitta has been shown to be able to smell its prey, having a keen sense of smell. It also consumes snails, using stones as its “anvil” on which to smash the shell.
Erritzoe, J. (2003). Family Pittidae (pittas). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 8. Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp.106-160.
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