Blue-throated barbet

   ›      ›   Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus

The blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus) belongs to the family of Asian barbets, the Megalaimidae.

The blue-throated barbet species is distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China. These barbet species have bright green, blue and red plumage. These barbets are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Blue-throated Barbet Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus) is a medium-sized barbet, measuring 20 to 25 cm in length and weighing 60 to 100 grams.

The overall plumage of this blue-throated barbet is green. The face and throat are bluish. There is a red forehead and black-edged red cap. There is a pale bluish patch between the forehead and the cap. There are two small reddish patches on the throat.

The back, wings and the uppertail of the blue-throated barbet are green. The underparts are yellowish green. The undertail is bluish green. Both the sexes look similar. The juveniles have paler plumage.

The bill is heavy and fringed with bristles. The bill is ivory colored with dark patch on the tip as well as the upper side of the upper mandible. The irises are brown. The feet are pale gray. Their call is a fast repeated "tu-tu-tuk" sounds.
Indian birds - Picture of Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus
1.Birds of India - Image of Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus by SaniyaChaplod


Birds of India - Photo of Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus
2.Indian birds - Picture of Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus by Koshy Koshy

Indian birds - Image of Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus
3.Birds of India - Photo of Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus by Darren Bellerby

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The blue-throated barbet species is distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.

In India, these blue-throated barbet species are distributed in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram.

The blue-throated barbet nominate subspecies P. a. asiaticus is distributed in northeast Pakistan, along the Himalayan India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, northeast India, north and central Myanmar and south and central China.

The blue-throated barbet subspecies P. a. davisoni is distributed in southeast Myanmar, Thailand, northern Laos, north and central Vietnam and south and central China.

Ecosystem and habitat

These blue-throated barbet species have moderate forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 200 to 2000 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include plantations, rural gardens, urban parks and orchards.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these barbet species include, subtropical and tropical lowland forests, subtropical and tropical montane forests, primary and secondary evergreen forests and deciduous forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of the blue-throated barbet consists mainly of fruits. Wild fruits, orchard fruits, berries, figs, flower and buds are their primary food. Sometime they feed on insects including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles and mantids.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these blue-throated barbet species is from March to July in India. Sometimes two broods are raised in a season. These birds are monogamous and territorial. Courtship includes singing and counter-singing and bobbing of head.

These blue-throated barbet species mostly excavate holes in trees for nesting. The clutch contains two to four white eggs without any markings. Both pairs take turns to incubate the eggs. The chicks hatch out after 13-15 days.

Migration and movement patterns

These blue-throated barbet species are non-migratory resident birds. The birds in higher altitudes may descent to lower levels during winter.

Post breeding, the juvenile barbets may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Blue-throated barbet - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Psilopogon asiaticus
  • Species author: (Latham, 1790)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Trogon asiaticus Latham, 1790, Megalaima asiaticus
  • Family: Megalaimidae › Piciformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Blue-throated barbet, Chinese: 蓝喉拟, French: Barbu à gorge bleue, German: Blauwangen-Bartvogel, Spanish: Barbudo gorjiazul común, Russian: Голубощёкий бородастик, Japanese: アオノドゴシキドリ
  • Other names: Blue-throated Barbet
  • Distribution: Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, berries, figs, insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

Throughout its range, this barbet species is reported to be common. The generation length is 8.5 years. Its distribution size is about 4,020,000

Habitat alteration and destruction, deforestation and trapping for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of this barbet species.

IUCN and CITES status

The blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Psilopogon asiaticus
Species:P. asiaticus
Binomial name:Psilopogon asiaticus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus) is closely related to the turquoise-throated barbet (Psilopogon chersonesus), moustached barbet (Psilopogon incognitus) and Annam barbet (Psilopogon annamensis).

The two recognized subspecies of Psilopogon asiaticus are: Psilopogon asiaticus asiaticus (Latham, 1790) and Psilopogon asiaticus davisoni (A. O. Hume, 1877).
Popular posts on Birds of India
Crested kingfisher Wreathed hornbill
Pheasant-tailed jacana Solitary snipe
Bronze-winged jacana Greater painted-snipe
Narcondam hornbill Pied kingfisher
House swift Mottled wood owl
Vernal hanging parrot Grey-bellied cuckoo
Brown fish owl Common swift
Black-capped kingfisher Austen's brown hornbill
Eurasian woodcock Indian courser
Pallas's gull Oriental turtle dove
Sirkeer malkoha Asian barred owlet
Sarus crane Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker
Indian pitta Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike
Black-winged cuckooshrike Sociable lapwing
Asian dowitcher Black-legged kittiwake
Nicobar pigeon Greater coucal
Jungle owlet Siberian crane
Grey-capped woodpecker Mangrove pitta
Grey nightjar Indian swiftlet
Red-headed trogon Tibetan sandgrouse
Snow pigeon Grey-headed parakeet
Common hawk-cuckoo Sri Lanka bay owl
Collared scops owl European nightjar
Slaty-breasted rail Western water rail
Eastern water rail Corncrake
Brown crake White-browed crake
White-breasted waterhen Black-tailed crake
Little crake Baillon's crake
Grey-headed lapwing Common snipe
Mew gull Andaman cuckoo-dove

1.Photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: SaniyaChaplod | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: Koshy Koshy | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/15/17
3.Photo source: (cropped)
Photo author: Darren Bellerby | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/15/17
Current topic in Birds of India: Blue-throated barbet - Psilopogon asiaticus.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.