Monday, 8 August 2016

Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus)

Latin Etymology: Psilopogon ("bare beard") haemacephalus ("blood headed")
Adult Coppersmith Barbet (subspecies P. h. indicus) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - July 2016

Featured Subspecies: Psilopogon haemacephalus indicus
Weight: 30-53g  /  Length: 15-17cm  /  Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

In Malaysia, the Coppersmith Barbet is the commonest member of its family - the barbets which are relations of the woodpeckers.  Although I sadly didn't hear it, the name comes from it's call - which sounds distinctively like someone hammering on metal - perhaps combined with the colour of it's forehead - a bright coppery orange.  It is the smallest species of all the barbet.  It is another species which is doing well from human changes to the environment - as it nests in dead trees in semi-clear land, logging has actually benefitted it - allowing it's range to expand - arriving into Malaysia in the 30s and on to Singapore in the 50s.

Related Species:
Order: Piciformes
Family: Megalaimidae
Genus: Psilopogon
SUBSPECIES: P. h. indicus, P. h. delicus, P. h. roseus, P. h. haemacephalus, P. h. intermedius, P. h. celestinoi, P. h. mindanensis, P. h. cebuensis, P. h. homochroa 

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA - Khmer - ប៉ោលតោកអំបុក ("? pendulem")
A fairly common resident.
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: One at Ta Prohm
MALAYSIA - Malay - Takur Akar  ("Root Barbet")
A fairly common and widespread resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Two seen in Kuala Lumpur - one in a small area of trees, one in the Botanical Garden.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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