Family Asian Barbets (Megalaimidae)

Least Concern

Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus)


French: Barbu à plastron rouge German: Kupfer-Schmiedbartvogel Spanish: Barbudo calderero

Bucco haemacephalus

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Philippine Islands


Closely related to P. rubricapillus and P. malabaricus, the three forming the so-called Xantholaema group. Distinctive taxa with red supercilium, cheek and throat—intermedius and cebuensis (C Philippines) and roseus (Java and Bali)—evolved separately from taxa with creamy-yellow in these parts in the late Pleistocene#R; songs posted on Xeno-canto of at least intermedius and indicus sound identical. Forms described from peninsular India, confusus from NW and luteus from SE, synonymous with indicus. Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. h. indicus (Latham, 1790) – NE Pakistan E to S China (Yunnan), S to Sri Lanka, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • P. h. delicus (Parrot, 1907) – Sumatra.
  • P. h. roseus (Dumont de Sainte Croix, 1816) – Java and Bali.
  • P. h. haemacephalus (Statius Müller, 1776) – N Philippines: Luzon, Mindoro.
  • P. h. homochroa (Dziadosz & Parkes, 1984) – Tablas, probably Romblon, possibly Masbate (NC Philippines).
  • P. h. celestinoi (Gilliard, 1949) – Catanduanes, Samar, Biliran and Leyte (EC Philippines).
  • P. h. intermedius (Shelley, 1891) – C Philippines: Panay, Guimaras, Negros.
  • P. h. cebuensis (Dziadosz & Parkes, 1984) – Cebu (C Philippines).
  • P. h. mindanensis (Rand, 1948) – Mindanao (S Philippines).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; 30–52·6 g. Small, chunky, green barbet with streaked underparts, and reddish legs and orbital skin. Male nominate race with red forehead and fore... read more


    Song given persistently through day and on moonlit nights, when might invite confusion with Jungle... read more


    Edges of moist forest, drier deciduous forest, scrub and secondary forest, plantations of diverse... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diverse fruits, including figs, pipal fruits, guavas, mangoes, custard-apples (Annona), berries; also bush crickets (... read more


    Jan–Oct in Pakistan, India and Nepal, where often double-brooded (as also case in Malaysia); generally Feb–Jul in Himalayan... read more


    Generally resident; possibly some migration in NW of range, in Pakistan.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and common almost throughout range, may be world’s commonest barbet; uncommon in Bhutan, where largely confined to extreme S of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus). 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).