Asian Blue Throated Barbet
Asian Blue Throated Barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus (Latham, 1790)
The Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark (EHBA) situated in the Sonitpur district of Assam, is a biodiverse haven and habitat of several birds.
The Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark echoes with calls from the Asian Throated Barbet Heed; their calls can dominate the aural landscape. The scientific name of the bird is Psilopogon asiaticus and the local Assamese name is HETELUKA. The Asian Throated Barbet Heed features in IUCN’s least concern species list and does not qualify as threatened, near threatened or conservation dependent. The barbets get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. (www.birdingbuddies.com)
This bird is medium sized and 9-11 inches long, including the tail, and weighs between 78-103grams (Avian web https://www.beautyofbirds.com). The bird is colorful. It has a big head and a short tail. They have bright green plumage and red colour in the crown including black band around the crown with blue throat. Its beak is surrounded by black bristles (the websiteofeverything.com). Males and Females look alike and younger ones have duller plumage (Avian Web, https://www.beautyofbirds.com).
Asian Throated Barbet Heed (the websiteofeverything.com) is native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam (Birdlife International IUCN Red list, www.iucnredlist.org or http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-2.RLTS.T61469878A61470214.en)
A distribution map of Asian Blue Throated Barbet (olseaux.net)
The bird is usually found sitting on tall trees like sal, beechwood, teak, peepal tree etc. and they are shy in nature, most of the time hiding behind the foliage or leaves. The colour of the bird mimics the colour of the green foliage and it is very hard to locate them as they get camouflaged.
They fly with medium to fast rapidity. During flight their wings create a “swish swash” noise and they flutter and swoop.
Asian blue throated barbets dub in a very high pitch. They yell throughout the day. Sometimes the voice ends in short pitches. It sounds like “kutorok kutokrok”.
Voice call of Asian Blue Throated Barbet
Breeding Season and Nesting
Their breeding season is mainly from March to June and they have been spotted coming out from the holes they excavate mainly in dead tree trunk (Book of the Indian Birds - Salim Ali). Both parents usually excavate a nest hole about 1.5m to more than 8m above the ground. Both parents incubate their eggs for about 14 days. The young are believed to fledge when they are about 30 to 40 days old. (https://www.beautyofbirds.com)
Blue Throated Barbet in Nest
Barbets are good agents for seed dispersal in the forest of the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark. They are very calm and charming birds. Their color combination and calling attracts visitors all the time at the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark.