The Blue-throated Barbets (Megalaima asiatica) have a wide range and are common from Northeast Pakistan and Nepal, Southwest China, Thailand, central Laos, north Annam and Vietnam. They are widespread residents in the hills of Himalayas.
They frequent montane evergreen forest and deciduous forests, gardens, orchards, teak forests and cities with fruiting trees.
They are between 9 - 11 inches (23 - 28 cm) long, including tail; and weigh between 2.7 - 3.6 oz (78 - 103 g).
Males and females look alike. Young birds have an overall duller plumage.
Diet / Feeding
They are typically seen foraging in the forest canopy, but will visit lower shrubs to feed.
Their staple diet consists of fruits (particularly figs), some flowers, figs and insects, such as grubs, crickets, mantises, ants, cicadas, dragonflies, locusts, beetles and moths.
Their breeding season usually starts in March and goes on until July. Courtship behavior consists of mutual feeding, and paired birds will ‘duet’ and display.
Both parents usually excavate a nest hole about 1.5 m to more than 8 m above the ground, often on the underside of a dead branch. They line their nest with grasses, wool or plant materials.
The average clutch consists of 2 to 5 white, oval, slightly glossed and thin-shelled eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 14 days. Both parents also share in raising the chicks once they have hatched. The young are believed to fledge when they are about 30 to 40 days old.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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