Great barbet

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Great barbet
Great Barbet .JPG
At Bhimtal, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Megalaimidae
Genus: Psilopogon
P. virens
Binomial name
Psilopogon virens
(Boddaert, 1783)

Megalaima virens

The great barbet (Psilopogon virens) is an Asian barbet. Barbets are a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.


This is the largest barbet at 31–33 cm (12–13 in) in length and a weight of 192–295 g (6.8–10.4 oz).[2] It is a plump bird, with a short neck, large head and short tail.

The adult has a blue head, large yellow bill, brown back and breast, green-streaked yellow belly and red vent. The rest of the plumage is green. Both sexes and immature birds are similar.

Habitat and Breeding[edit]

The great barbet is a resident breeder in the lower-to-middle altitudes of the Himalayas, ranging across northern India, Nepal and Bhutan, Bangladesh[3] and some parts of Southeast Asia, as far away as Laos.

The nesting season is from April to July. This species typically builds nests in tree holes. The male and female birds share the parental duties.[3]


The diet of this species is mainly fruits and insects.[3]


The male's territorial call is a very loud kay-oh. The alarm is a harsh keeab, and another call is a repetitive piou-piou-piou-piou.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Psilopogon virens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  3. ^ a b c Ali, Salim (1996). The Book of Indian Birds. India: Oxford University Press.