Friday, November 9, 2012

Colourful Coppersmith Barbet

One day at forenoon a curious sound was heard somewhere nearby my house. It was like this: 'tok . tok . tok' repeated for a long time. On careful search outdoors, it revealed the source of it: a bird called Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala, Crimson-breasted barbet). It is called so, because it has its 'call' that resembles the sound produced by a copper smith when he strikes a metal with hammer. It is seen as a small bird like a sparrow; but on closer view its bright colours are revealed.
It has red forehead and throat; yellow eye-ring like a common myna; and green upper parts. This bird is found in India and other Southeast Asian countries; it lives in groves and gardens; eats fruits of Banyan, Peepal and Fig trees.

Both male and female make nest on a tree branch by making a cavity in it with their beaks. Three eggs are laid and the chicks hatch out in two weeks.
Whenever I hear this 'tok . tok' sound, I am alerted about the visit of this wonder bird in my neighbourhood!

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