Also known as the Asian Barbet, it is a fascinating bird species endemic to the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Its distribution spans a wide range, from ancient woodlands to elevations of up to 3,000 meters (9,800 ft), encompassing diverse habitats across its geographic range. Despite the pressures of habitat loss and fragmentation, the Great Barbet has been classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2004, owing to its relatively stable population and widespread distribution.
One of the most striking features of the Great Barbet is its distinctive appearance, characterized by a blue head, large yellow beak, and brown and green-streaked body. Its belly boasts a vibrant red vent, adding to its colorful plumage. Among the barbet species, the Great Barbet holds the title of being the largest, with an impressive body length ranging from 32 to 35 cm (13 to 14 in) and a weight ranging from 192 to 295 g (6.8 to 10.4 oz).
The Great Barbet is predominantly a resident breeder in the Himalayan region, where it occupies a variety of habitats ranging from lower to intermediate elevations. Its range extends from northern India through Nepal and Bhutan, reaching into Bangladesh and further into areas of Southeast Asia such as Laos. Within these habitats, the Great Barbet is known for its distinctive vocalizations, which include a series of melodious calls and trills that echo through the forest canopy.
In addition to its vocal repertoire, the Great Barbet plays a significant ecological role as a seed disperser. By consuming a variety of fruits and later excreting the undigested seeds, it facilitates the dispersal of seeds across different areas of its habitat, contributing to the regeneration and maintenance of forest ecosystems.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No