Megalaimidae – Asian barbets

Medium-sized, mostly green-colored birds inhabiting the tropical Southeast Asia forest

Barbets of this family have a ‘two toes front, two toes back’ foot structure that helps them perch and climb well. The outer toe may be swung forwards or sideways while rising a near-vertical branch. Except while digging their nests, Megalaimidae (Barbets) don’t rely on their tail feathers for support.

Barbets need dead wood to dig nesting holes and roost all year. Barbets hop and climb over trees, move quickly through low shrubs or on the ground, and frequently perch for lengthy periods. Although they appear somewhat hefty, they fly well and only for brief periods. Barbets like to eat fruits, but they will eat everything.