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  • Aditya Singh

The Colorful World of Barbets – 4: Blue-Throated Barbet & Great Barbet

Let me introduce to two more Indian (mainly) Himalayan barbets.

Blue-Throated Barbet:


Blue-throated Barbet

Just think of the colors red, blue and green. Combine them and you have this breath-taking beauty. This is the Blue-Throated Barbet.


Amazing color combination…just perfect.


Blue-Throated Barbet – Young one


This ‘red-haired’ bird wears a black ‘hairband’, has a fringe style ‘haircut’ and wears a sort of blue balaclava with a hint of red peeping from under it. They seem to wear round orange rimmed eye glasses. They have a cream and black beak with the rest of the body being in shades of leafy green.


Like the others of its family, it spends its time finding and picking fruits. I found it doing just that, hopping from branch to branch for the right fruit.

I caught a glimpse of this barbet making its nest in a dry branch. Perhaps it is easier to carve out a dry branch.


Nest in a dry branch.

Great Barbet:

Photos can’t do justice to the amazing colors these birds wear. All I can say is that this gold-beaked bird also amalgamates the colors navy, bronze, red, turquoise, green, silver, brown, yellow and black. It is slightly different from the other barbets in that its entire head has only one color, whereas the others have backs and tails of one color.

This is the Great Barbet and is the biggest of all the barbets – almost double the size of the Coppersmith Barbet.


Stunning array of colors…


Possessing strong vocal cords, their calls can be really loud. They can call without opening their beaks and can be heard across good distances. In that way, these are similar to the Malabar Grey Hornbill.

Its nest is carved out painstakingly on a live branch in a way similar to the Brown-headed Barbet.


Junior…yet to don all the colors


The threats to these birds are similar to the other barbets. I feel that Barbets should be considered as the indicators of the health of an ecosystem in this part of the world.


***In these posts, I have written about six barbets found in India. Three more have to be added to the collection, which I will, as and when I find them…hopefully soon.***

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