Sunday, 11 March 2012

Coppersmith barbet

Megalaima haemacephala

Photo by Rajiv Lather (Birding in India and South Asia)

Common name:
coppersmith barbet (en); barbudo-de-peito-vermelho (pt); barbu à plastron rouge (fr); barbudo calderero (es); kupferschmied (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Capitonidae

This species is found in southern Asia, from north-eastern Pakistan, through India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, and into southern China, the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Size:These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh 30-53 g.

Habitat:Coppersmith barbets are mostly found in moist forests, but also in dry deciduous woodlands, along forest edges, in teak forests, mangroves, irrigated orchards and plantations with fruiting trees, and urban areas that contain trees. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.250 m.

Diet:They mostly eat wild figs and other fruits and berries, but also insects such as beetles, crickets, mantids and various insect larvae.

Breeding:These birds breed in December-September. They nest in a hole, excavated by both sexes in a tree trunk or branch, often on the underside of an horizontal branch. There the female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 5 weeks after hatching. Each pair may raise 1-2 broods per season.

Conservation:IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
The coppersmith barbet has a very large breeding range and is reported to be widespread and common throughout this range. The species has expanded in range, as it can easily adapt to man-made and altered habitats.

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