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A photo of a Great Barbet (Psilopogon virens)
Great Barbet

Great Barbet

Psilopogon virens

The great barbet, Psilopogon virens, is a bird of considerable heft and vibrant coloration. It boasts a striking blue head, a robust yellow bill, and a body adorned with brown and green streaks. The belly is similarly patterned, leading to a vivid red vent. This species is the largest of the barbets, with a length ranging from 32 to 35 centimeters and a weight between 192 and 295 grams.

Identification Tips

When identifying the great barbet, look for its large size and distinctive coloration. The blue head and yellow bill are key features, along with the green plumage and red vent. Its robust build and streaked body further distinguish it from other barbets.

Habitat

The great barbet is an inhabitant of forests, where it can be found at altitudes up to 3,000 meters. It thrives in the lower-to-middle altitudes of the Himalayas.

Distribution

This species is a resident breeder with a range that spans across northern Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and parts of Southeast Asia, including Laos.

Behaviour

During the nesting season from April to July, the great barbet demonstrates a preference for tree holes to build its nests. Both parents are involved in the care of their young. The diet of this bird is primarily composed of fruits and insects.

Song & Calls

The male great barbet asserts its territory with a resonant kay-oh call. When alarmed, it emits a harsh keeab. Another of its vocalizations is a repetitive piou-piou-piou-piou.

Breeding

The breeding season for the great barbet spans from April to July, with nests typically constructed within tree cavities. Both male and female barbets participate in rearing their offspring.

Similar Species

While there are no specific similar species mentioned, the great barbet's size and coloration make it quite distinctive among barbets.

Diet and Feeding

The great barbet's diet is mainly composed of fruits and insects, which it forages from the forest habitat it resides in.

Conservation status

The great barbet is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, thanks to its wide distribution and presumably large population.

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