Blue Throated Barbet

Blue –throated Barbet  Megalaima asiatica


  • Megalaima: Greek word megalos- great; laimos- throat. { Great Throat}
  • Asiatica: From India

Vernacular names: H.P: Hutururu, Ben: Bada basanth bairi, Bada banebo, Korul, Ass: Tuktukra sorai, Cachar: Dao tukra gadeba, Lepcha: Kattak, Nepal: Ruturki, Basantha, Kan: Neeli kattina barbet,

Hindi: Nilkanth Basanta

They are tree dwelling fruit eating birds. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their  heavy bills.

Distribution in India: Resident in Himalayas and North East of India

Description: Size of 22-23 Cm. Medium-sized, short-tailed Green Barbet with blue throat and face
and Red head. Found in Primary and secondary evergreen and deciduous mountain forest, also
clearings, edges, orchards.

Food Habits: They eat figs (Ficus) and other fruits, and berries, also flowers of pistachio (Pistacia
integgerima).During nesting period they are also known to eat Insects and worms.

Breeding Habits: They breeds in period of March- July. Nest is built inside holes dug and abandoned by
Woodpeckers. The Male locates such holes and then starts displaying by flight and calls. The female
inspects the nest and once she accept the male, they start doing interiors of the nest using soft
materials like leaves, feathers etc. The usual clutch is about two to three eggs. Female incubates the
eggs and the chicks are born Altricial (with closed eyes and little down feathers). They are fed insects
for faster growth and water content. Both parents do the duty of feeding the chicks. The parents will
chew the food first and feed only the pulpy food to the chicks. The chicks are fed throughout the day
for 2-3 weeks till they are ready to leave the nest .They clean up the nest at least thrice a day and
dispose of the garbage carrying it in their mouth far away away from the nest. This is to avoid giving
away the nest site to predators. The chicks fledge within 2 weeks and leave the nest post fledging
within 2 weeks.