The Great Barbet: A Vibrant and Fascinating Bird of South Asia

The Great Barbet, scientifically known as Psilopogon virens, is a beautifully vibrant bird found in the tropical and subtropical forests of South Asia. It is also commonly referred to as the Great Hill Barbet or the Large Green Barbet.

The Great Barbet is a member of the kingdom Animalia and the phylum Chordata, making it a part of the diverse family of birds. It belongs to the class Aves and the order Piciformes, which includes other colorful birds such as woodpeckers and toucans Great Barbet. The Great Barbet's family is Megalaimidae, which consists of 24 species of barbets found in Asia and Africa.

This stunning bird is primarily found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, where it inhabits the dense forests and is known for its striking green, yellow, and black plumage. Its bright colors make it easily identifiable, and it is often considered a symbol of the vibrant and diverse wildlife found in South Asia.


The Great Barbet has a stocky body with a large head and a short tail. It measures around 30 to 33 cm in length and weighs 150 to 225 grams. The bird's head is adorned with a prominent pale blue or grey bill, which is large and thick, perfect for breaking open tough fruits and seeds. Its feet are strong and have four toes, two facing forwards and two facing backward, which help the bird grip branches as it moves through the trees.

One of the most striking features of the Great Barbet is its colorful plumage. Its head and neck are a vibrant green, with a bright yellow ring around its eye Gartered Trogon. Its breast is also green but has a yellow patch on the belly. The wings and back are a darker shade of green, while the tail is a combination of green and black feathers. The bird's underside is a deep yellow, adding to its overall vibrancy.

While both male and female Great Barbets have similar color patterns, the male has a reddish ring around its orange eye, making it slightly more colorful than the female. On the other hand, immature Great Barbets have duller colors and lack the reddish ring around their eye.

Habitat and Distribution

The Great Barbet is a resident bird and is mainly found in the dense forests of South Asia. It prefers to live in tropical and subtropical regions, where the climate is warm and humid. These birds thrive in the lowland forests and foothills of the Himalayas, making them a common sight in countries like India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

While they are primarily found in the forests, the Great Barbet has also adapted to living in human-inhabited areas, such as gardens and plantations. This adaptability has helped their population thrive, even in fragmented habitats.

Eating Habits

The Great Barbet is an omnivorous bird and has a diverse diet, feeding on various fruits, insects, and small reptiles. Their diet primarily consists of figs, berries, and other soft fruits, which they pick from tree branches using their strong beaks.

They also feed on insects, including crickets, caterpillars, and ants, among others. The Great Barbet often uses its sharp bills to dig into termite nests and feed on the insects inside.

Feeding Method

The Great Barbet is a skilled forager and uses its strong beak to break open tough fruits and seeds. It also has a unique feeding method, where it will hold a fruit or insect between its feet and then use its beak to scrape off the flesh.

During the breeding season, the male Great Barbet will often feed the female as a part of their courtship ritual. This act of nourishing the female is a display of affection and a way to strengthen their bond.

Conservation Status

The Great Barbet has a stable population and is not currently listed as endangered. However, like many other birds, it faces threats such as deforestation and habitat loss due to human activities. The conversion of natural forests into farmlands and urban settlements has caused a decline in their population, and conservation efforts are necessary to ensure their survival.

Interesting Facts

- The Great Barbet is considered a sacred bird in Hinduism as it is believed to be the messenger of the God of Rain, Indra.

- In some South Asian cultures, it is popularly known as the 'seven-colored bird' due to its vibrant plumage.

- The Great Barbet has a unique, repetitive call that sounds like "kutroo-kutroo," which helps in identifying its presence in the wild.

- These birds have a symbiotic relationship with fig trees, which they feed on and help spread seeds to other locations.

In Conclusion

The Great Barbet is a fascinating bird that adds a splash of color to the lush forests of South Asia. Its unique appearance, diverse diet, and interesting behaviors make it a delight to observe in the wild. However, its population is facing threats, and it is essential to conserve their natural habitats to ensure their survival.

The next time you find yourself in the forests of India, Nepal, or Bhutan, keep an eye out for this beautiful bird with its vivid plumage and memorable calls. You might just catch a glimpse of this stunning creature in its natural habitat, a memory that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Great Barbet

Great Barbet

Bird Details Great Barbet - Scientific Name: Psilopogon virens

  • Categories: Birds G
  • Scientific Name: Psilopogon virens
  • Common Name: Great Barbet
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Megalaimidae
  • Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forests
  • Eating Habits: Omnivorous
  • Feeding Method: Fruits, insects, small reptiles
  • Geographic Distribution: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar
  • Country of Origin: India
  • Location: South Asia
  • Color: Green, yellow, black
  • Body Shape: Stocky with a large head and short tail

Great Barbet

Great Barbet

  • Length: 27-33 cm
  • Adult Size: Medium-sized
  • Age: Up to 12 years
  • Reproduction: Sexual
  • Reproduction Behavior: Monogamous
  • Migration Pattern: Non-migratory
  • Social Groups: Solitary or in pairs
  • Behavior: Active during the day (diurnal)
  • Threats: Habitat loss, hunting, and trapping
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
  • Unique Features: Large bill and vibrant coloration
  • Fun Facts: The Great Barbet is the national bird of Nepal.
  • Reproduction Period: March to June
  • Hive Characteristics: Nest in tree cavities
  • Lifespan: Up to 15 years

The Great Barbet: A Vibrant and Fascinating Bird of South Asia

Psilopogon virens

The Great Barbet: A Unique and Vibrant Bird Species

From majestic eagles to colorful parrots, the world is home to a diverse range of bird species. However, there is one bird that stands out with its unique features and captivating behavior - the Great Barbet. This medium-sized bird, known for its large bill and vibrant coloration, is the perfect example of nature's creativity and beauty. In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at the Great Barbet, exploring its physical characteristics, behavior, threats, and importance in our ecosystem DatuSarakai.Com.

Physical Characteristics

The Great Barbet (Psilopogon virens) is a bird species belonging to the Megalaimidae family. It can be found in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and parts of China. This bird measures between 27 to 33 cm in length, making it a medium-sized bird. It is also recognized as one of the largest species of barbets.

One of the most distinctive features of the Great Barbet is its large bill. This strong, thick bill enables the bird to crack open hard fruits and nuts, making it a specialist in its diet. The bill is also used as a weapon against predators and for excavating nesting cavities in trees.

The Great Barbet is a colorful bird, with a mix of green, yellow, and red feathers on its head, upperparts, and lower breast. The head features a prominent, black crest, making it a sight to behold Guianan Red Cotinga. The rest of its body is a combination of green and yellow, with a red undertail coverts. The female bird is slightly duller in color compared to the male.


The Great Barbet is known to be active during the day, making it a diurnal species. It is mostly solitary, but sometimes can be seen in pairs. These birds are territorial and will defend their feeding and nesting areas from any intruders.

Another interesting behavior of the Great Barbet is its reproduction behavior. These birds are monogamous, meaning they mate for life. They can be seen grooming each other and engage in courtship feeding before the breeding season.

Reproduction and Nesting

The Great Barbet has a sexual reproduction system and reproduces once a year. The breeding season for this bird species is from March to June. During this time, the male Great Barbets can be heard making loud, fast, and repetitive calls to attract females.

Once the pairs have formed, they build their nest in tree cavities. The female will lay a clutch of 2 to 4 eggs, which both parents will take turns to incubate. After 14 to 17 days, the eggs will hatch, and both parents will take turns to feed the chicks. The young birds will leave the nest after about 36 days and are fully independent within a few weeks.


One unique characteristic of the Great Barbet is its migration pattern. Unlike many migratory bird species, the Great Barbet is a non-migratory bird. They do not make long-distance movements or seasonal migrations. Instead, they will stay in their home range throughout the year.

Threats and Conservation Status

Unfortunately, like many other bird species, the Great Barbet is facing various threats. The most critical threat to this bird is habitat loss. Deforestation and human activities, such as land conversion for development, have caused a decline in the Great Barbet's population.

Another significant threat to this bird is hunting and trapping. In some parts of its range, it is hunted for food, while its feathers and body parts are used in traditional medicine. These activities, coupled with a slow reproductive rate, have made the Great Barbet a near-threatened species.

To ensure the survival of the Great Barbet, conservation efforts need to be implemented. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this bird species as near threatened, emphasizing the urgent need for conservation measures. Some of the steps that can be taken include habitat protection, monitoring and controlling hunting and trapping, and raising awareness among the local communities.

Importance in the Ecosystem

The Great Barbet plays a crucial role in its ecosystem as a fruit-eating bird. It helps in seed dispersal, which is essential for the growth and diversity of forests. By eating various fruits, the Great Barbet also contributes to maintaining the balance of tree species in its habitat.

Apart from its ecological importance, the Great Barbet also has cultural significance. It is the national bird of Nepal, where it is known as the "crimson-breasted Barbet." This bird is featured on the national flag of Nepal, showcasing its importance in the country's culture and identity.

Fun Facts

- The Great Barbet is the largest species of barbet, measuring up to 33 cm in length.
- It is also known as the "coppersmith barbet" due to its distinct call, similar to the sound of a coppersmith striking metal.
- The Great Barbet has a lifespan of up to 15 years in the wild.
- It is the national bird of Nepal and is featured on the country's currency and stamps.
- The Great Barbet is known to be a bad flyer, often flying in a straight, heavy manner.
- Despite its large size, the Great Barbet is known to be a shy and elusive bird, making it challenging to spot in the wild.

In Conclusion

The Great Barbet is an exceptional bird species, with its unique physical characteristics, behavior, and cultural significance. From its large bill and vibrant coloration to its active, diurnal behavior, this bird is truly a wonder of nature. However, like many other species, the Great Barbet is facing threats to its survival. It is crucial to raise awareness about this bird and take measures to conserve its habitat and protect it from hunting and trapping. By doing so, we can ensure that this magnificent bird continues to grace our forests for future generations to come.

Psilopogon virens

The Great Barbet: A Vibrant and Fascinating Bird of South Asia

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