Family Asian Barbets (Megalaimidae)

Least Concern

Great Barbet (Psilopogon virens)


Taxonomy

French: Barbu géant German: Heulbartvogel Spanish: Barbudo grande
Taxonomy:

Bucco virens

Boddaert

, 1783,

China

.

Related to P. lagrandieri, but not very closely. Races weakly to moderately marked. Indochinese birds, described as race indochinensis, now considered indistinguishable from nominate; birds of Mishmi Hills (NE Assam) formerly recognized as race mayri, but inseparable from clamator. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. v. marshallorum (Swinhoe, 1870) – NE Pakistan and NW India E to W Nepal.
  • P. v. magnificus (E. C. S. Baker, 1926) – E Nepal E to C Assam.
  • P. v. clamator (Mayr, 1941) – NE Assam, N Myanmar and SC China (W Yunnan) to NW Thailand.
  • P. v. virens (Boddaert, 1783) – C Myanmar and NC Thailand to N Vietnam and SC & SE China.
  • Descriptive notes

    32–35 cm; 164–295 g. Largest barbet, with big bill. Both sexes of nominate race with entirely dark bluish head with some green tones, brown and green body... read more

    Voice

    Loud, distinctive “kee-aar” to “peeao” notes in long series, with... read more

    Habitat

    Forest, both deciduous and evergreen, and wooded valleys on mountain slopes; visits orchards and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diverse fruits, especially figs, berries, wild plums, ivy berries, barberries, “medlar” and “pepul” fruits; also... read more

    Breeding

    Feb–Aug or Sept; sometimes two or even three broods in a season. Much singing and countersinging, simultaneous singing of pair;... read more

    Movements

    Resident, with altitudinal movements; those at elevations above c. 800 m migrate down to lower... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in N Indian Subcontinent, although very local in Pakistan; possibly still present in Bangladesh, but no recent records; common in SE Asia.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2019). Great Barbet (Psilopogon virens). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/56031 on 19 April 2019).