Family Asian Barbets (Megalaimidae)

Least Concern

Bornean Barbet (Psilopogon eximius)


French: Barbu à gorge noire German: Schwarzkehl-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo eximio
Other common names: Black-chinned Barbet

Mesobucco eximius


, 1892,

Mount Dulit, Borneo


Closely related to P. australis, the two (and forms previously included in P. australis) comprising the so-called Mesobucco group. Racial separation of Mt Kinabalu population uncertain, based principally on blue throat colour, but this may be indicative of subadult, and more or less matched by probable subadult specimens from elsewhere in species’ range, where also some with mostly blue or mixed throat colour; also, individuals have been seen on Mt Kinabalu with black throat, as adults in rest of range; further research required. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. e. cyaneus (Harrisson & Hartley, 1934) – Mt Kinabalu.
  • P. e. eximius (Sharpe, 1892) – mountains of N, NW & C Borneo from Trus Madi and Brassey Range SW to Poi, Penrissen and Niut, and S to Barito Ulu.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm. Small, strong-billed, green barbet with complex head pattern. Male nominate race with black forehead to forecrown, red hindcrown, blue line from lores over... read more


    Song rapid series of single “tiuk” notes at 3–6 per second, for up to 40 seconds... read more


    Wet mountain forest, keeping mostly to canopy. Most specimens from altitudes of 900–1387 m,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Data very meagre; figs and other fruits known to be included in diet. Generally feeds in canopy.


    Possibly May–Oct or later. Singer puffs out throat and turns head side to side. Nest and eggs undescribed, and no information on... read more


    Resident, presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Bornean Mountains EBA. Uncommon, and very poorly known, but occurs in more montane parts of Borneo than does... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2020). Bornean Barbet (Psilopogon eximius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).