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Barbet


Barbet (basanta bauri) a woodpecker group of colourful tropical bird. There are about 82 species worldwide; Bangladesh has 4 species. They have long sensory bristles surrounding the strong bill. Barbets inhabit the tropical regions of the world, but are absent from Australia. They have brilliant plumage, predominantly green, and a large, stout bill, more or less beset with bristles. Being almost exclusively arboreal, they feed mainly on fruit, and lay several white eggs in tree holes. African barbets are the most diverse, ranging from highly social (up to 50 or more pairs nesting in one dead tree) to the tiny (7-8 cm) tinkerbirds of the genus Pogoniulus.

Unusual among them are the ground barbets which nest in holes excavated straight into the ground, or in termite mounds. Tropical Asian barbets tend to be larger than those in Africa or tropical America and are large-billed, large-headed, short-tailed birds. The numerous species generally are green with sexually-differing intricate patterns of reds, blues, yellows and blacks concentrated on the head and throat.

Most belong to the genus Megalaima and are solitary, but highly vocal, uttering repetitive ringing 'towp', 'chook', or 'pop' notes during much of the year.

The Coppersmith is named for its ringing and repeated notes. It is one of several diverse species called 'brain-fever birds' because of their monotonous unceasing song. Pairs excavate a nesting cavity in a dead tree trunk or branch, often on the sloping underside, in which they lay their eggs and raise their young. [Md. Anwarul Islam]