Common Birds of India

Large Green Barbet.( Megalaima zeylonica)

Large Green Barbet.( Megalaima zeylonica)

 -Ragoo Rao

More people will have heard a familiar of this bird than seen them, for they are very well camouflaged with green bodies with the head neck and breast brown streaked white. A patch of pale orange colored naked skin around the eyes. These birds are very vocal and when one calls another answers from another distant tree. This keeps on going for a long time.

These birds are widely distributed in both forested and urban areas. These are familiar around parks and can be seen when they hang on to leafless branches and forage for insects under the bark. These birds are fruit eaters too and they are fond of figs of all varieties. Both sexes have the same coloration and it is quite difficult to separate the sexes.

During nesting season, which is during March to June, these birds can be noticed renovating a hole in a dead tree. Sometimes they excavate their own hole in the trees, specially on the lower side of the trunks. Both sexes share the nest building and all other domestic chores.

Eggs are dull white and about 3 to 4 eggs are laid per clutch. The parent birds can be seen busily feeding the chicks as the chicks are very voracious and grow very fast. A lovely bird with a call that is typical of jungles and urban parks.

( Photograph of large green barbett by Ragoo Rao)

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