Brown-Headed Barbet

Brown-Headed Barbet

(Megalaima zeylanicus)

Size(25-28cm): It is a medium sized Barbet and is the most common one in India.

Area: Almost all India except the Himalayas and is replaced by the White-Cheeked Barbet in the Western Ghats.

Habitat: Gardens, parks, forests and anywhere there are trees.


(Brown Headed Barbet on an Indian Gooseberry tree at my residence in Phillaur, Punjab)

My two words: It is a green and brown Barbet. As the name suggests, the head is brown The neck and some part of the back are also brown. There is a naked orange patch around the eye. Overall plumage is grassy-green. There can be some white streakings on the head. The bill red and quite large and heavy


(Brown Headed Barbet at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan)

Mostly solitary but can be seen in pairs as well.

The nest is a hole in a tree where they lay 2-3 eggs.

These species are found only in India. They are quite common around in the cities and have adapted themselves to live close to human inhabitation. These are a species of highly arboreal birds who usually never descend to the ground.


(Brown Headed Barbet on an Indian Gooseberry tree at my residence in Phillaur, Punjab)

They are mainly frugivorous and feed particularly on bananas, mangoes, papayas, and figs. I have also seen them feeding on guavas and Indian Gooseberry (Amla) at my home.

A common sighting, seen everywhere near to humans.

~Arjun Basandrai

3 responses to “Brown-Headed Barbet”

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