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Barbets : Kaleidoscope of nature

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Blue - throated Barbet

Barbets : Kaleidoscope of nature

· While walking along tress, sometimes we heard bird’s call, but unable to find any of them around. Later on searching for birds and observing inside tree branches, we found some multi-coloured birds having prominently deep green body camouflaged themselves within green leaves. Spectacular colours of these birds mesmerized us. We finally identified these birds as ‘Barbets’. They are very shy birds which sit motionless for long periods plumage blending remarkably with tree foliage.

· Asian Barbets belong to ‘Megalaimidae’ family. There are different types of barbets. Here three of them – Blue-throated barbet, Coppersmith barbet & Brown-headed barbet – have been displayed pictorially. All photographs have been clicked in their natural habitat at Kolkata and Kanpur.

· Barbets feed mainly on fruits and insects. They live on forest edge or in scrubs.

Salient features of :

1. Blue-throated Barbet

Blue - throated Barbet

· A medium sized multi-coloured barbet with red forehead, black band across centre of crown, red hind crown and blue face & throat. Remaining body is deep green colour which helps them in hiding within leaves. It has very strong beak.

· Normally found in the Himalayas, North-east and West Bengal.

· Its call is a loud, harsh took-a-rook, took-a-rook,…… .

· Its scientific name is ‘Megalaima asiatica’.

· Its Hindi name is ‘Nilkanth Basanta’.

Blue - throated Barbets

2. Coppersmith Barbet

Coppersmith Barbet

Coppersmith Barbets

· A small bright coloured barbet with crimson forehead and patch on front, yellow patches above and below eye contrasting with blackish hind crown and sides of head & striking yellow colour on throat. Body is mainly of olive-green colour.

· Its call is loud, metallic, monotonous and repetitive resounding as tuk, tuk, tuk……, which resembles with coppersmith working sound using iron hammer on metal surface. Its name has been derived from its voice.

· Its scientific name is ‘Megalaima haemacephala’.

· Its Hindi name is ‘Chota Basanta’.

Coppersmith Barbets

3. Brown - headed Barbet

Brown - headed Barbet

Brown - headed Barbet

· It has brown chin and throat, fine whitish streaking on head & front, whitish tipped wing-coverts, orange patch around eye and deep reddish-orange bill. Back half of body is greenish.

· Its call is a monotonous kutroo, kutroo, kutroo ……

· Its scientific name is ‘Megalaima zeylancia.

· Its Hindi name is ‘Bada Basanta’.

Brown - headed Barbets

# Barbets are very colourful, shy but active, smart in hiding within trees. Viewing them is rare since they keep themselves away from human activity areas.

Enjoy the beauty of Nature and unique creation of God.

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