Brown-headed Barbet

Brown-headed Barbet    Megalaima zylaneca

Etymology :

  • Megalaima: Greek word megalos- great; laimos- throat. { Great Throat}
  • Zylaneca: Ceylon ( Srilanka)

Vernacular Names : Hindi: Bada basanta, Gumma, U.P: Kotur, Bi: Sunterar, M.P: Kudrunga, Ben: Bada basanta, Jokara pakhi, Guj: Lilo tuktukiyo/kansaro, Mar: Tapakiri Dokyacha Kuturga, Ta: Kutur kukkuruvan, Te: Gandu karnam, Kamsali pitta, Mal: Valia chengannan kutturavan, Kutturuvan, Kan: Kutur hakki, Sinh: Pollos kottoruwa, Gabbal kotteruwa

They are tree dwelling fruit eating birds. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. They are also called as Large Green barbet

Distribution in India: Resident in Central, West and South India

Description: Size of 25–28 cm; wt. of 108–140 g. it is a large, streaky green and brown barbet. Both sexes of nominate race have prominent pale streaks on brown head, mantle and breast; throat is brown; rest of plumage is green, wing-coverts have white spots; bill is brown-yellow or flesh-coloured, becoming red-orange when breeding. Large area of facial skin is dull yellow, turning orange or red-orange when breeding; legs are yellowish. The immature is duller. The race inornatus is larger and paler, duller brown, but brown encroaches on mid-back and belly, streaks far less prominent, crown almost buffy; race caniceps is also large and pale, but brown restricted anteriorly as in nominate race, and streaking well defined.

Habitat: It is found in Broad-leafed forest, wooded areas and trees near habitation

Food Habits: It feeds on fruits, especially figs and berries, including those of coffee, tomatoes and garden fruits; flower petals and nectar. It also eats animal food including beetles, mantids, ants, termites, and various large and small lizards.

Breeding Habits: Breeds in period of Feb-Oct. Both sexes sing simultaneously, and counter sing with others. The nest is excavated by both adults, in tree or branch, often on underside, or in fence post, cavity is deep to 46 cm. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The female incubates and broods young at night. During daytime both sexes incubate and feed young. At fledging stage, adults withhold food to entice young to leave nest.