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Great Barbet

Great Barbet
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-03-25 3:51
Viewed: 2283
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In the winter of 2009, I stayed at my native place in the Himalayas for about two weeks and took lots of pictures of snow-clad mountains, flora and fauna. I have posted many of them here on TN in the past 3 years.

Today I am posting a very poor quality picture of a bird that I had frequently heard but rarely seen in my childhood years spent at my native place. Its loud and feverish call sounded like "tree-how, tree-how" which still rings in my mind loud and clear. However, it was decades later that with a good DSLR camera in hand, I suddenly heard its familiar call in a forested area and started frantically looking for it. I knew it was an elusive and shy bird, usually hidden way up in the thick foliage of tall trees and difficult to sight clearly. This time I gave it a chase. After quite a few misses, I eventually clicked a couple of hasty shots with my 70-300mm lens from sizable distance when the bird alighted on that crook in the tree for a fleeting moment, all the time irritated by the maddening whirring this lens goes into, trying to focus on a distant subject being zoomed in. This is one of those two shots -- quite disgusting in its raw form with poor light, poor focus and tons of noise on it. Patiently, I tried to remove all that muck using PS CS3, Photoscape and NeatImage.

My intention is to put this godamned beautiful bird on record here on TN and to ask for help from experts if they can make out what species it is. My gut feeling was that it is some kind of a Cuckoo and I even did a bit of research on it, but to no avail. A green bird by and large, it has a thick yellow bill and a variety of lovely colours on its plumage and breast feathers.
This is the only picture I have of this bird and I will be immensely relieved if some expert establishes its true ID for me. Ivan, are you around?

PS: Bingo!! This time it is Peter who has solved my ID problem instantly. Thanks, Peter! Still, I'm leaving the story of my angst given above intact to convey my sense of frustration I experienced while trying to shoot this bird.

The Great Barbet, Megalaima virens, is an Asian barbet. Barbets are a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.

The Great Barbet is a resident breeder in the lower-to-middle altitudes of the Himalayas, ranging across northern India, Nepal and Bhutan, and some parts of Southeast Asia as far away as Laos. It is a species of broadleaf evergreen woodlands and nests in a tree hole.
This is the largest barbet at 31–33 cm (12–13 in) in length and a weight of 192–295 g (6.8–10.4 oz). It is a plump bird, with a short neck, large head and short tail.

The adult has a blue head, large yellow bill, brown back and breast, green-streaked yellow belly and red vent. The rest of the plumage is green. Both sexes and immature birds are similar.

The male's territorial call is a very loud kay-oh. The alarm is a harsh keeab, and another call is a repetitive piou-piou-piou-piou.


Argus, Hussain58, uleko, PeterZ, samiran88, cobra112, Pitoncle, anel has marked this note useful
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To Hussain58: Great Barbetramthakur 3 03-26 18:54
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-03-25 4:07]

Hello Ram,
This time I'm sure about the ID, a Great Barbet, Megalaima virens.
Very nice photo in beautiful colours.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2012-03-25 4:36]

Peter is right Ram: this is a the Great Barbet, an impressive and colourful species that I have never seen.
This makes even a less-than-perfect shot of it the more appreciated and a valuable contribution to TN.
The bird is well seen with good clarity and natural colours.
Thanks for sharing this!
Warm regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2012-03-25 5:07]

Hello Ram,
How lucky you were way back to capture a Gret Barbet! I didn't think Barbets were found so far up north. This one has a very large beak and it looks very colourful. Keep on the look-out and you may find it again!!
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

Hello Ram,

Hope you are well. Man, I am impressed by your notes, you remind me of Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson, W.H. Hudson and a few others.It is such a good note what if the photo is of poor quality and it takes us right back there, way back in 2009 when you were running stealthily after this beautiful bird of your childhood with your heart perhaps throbbing in your head, perpetually stalking it.
I think you have done a great service to your region by posting this photo.It was yet another novel experience of reading the note and watching this amazing photo.Take care and keep them coming at us.....smile....warmest regards/Abid

hello Ram,
this is a new Barbet to me... not seen it yet. it would be a nice experience to see and photograph it someday. yes, the photograph is not doing justice to the beauty of the bird. got blurred. why don't you go to that region and try this bird once more? i am loving the idea of it :)

Yes Mr. Thakur the quality of the picture is not perfect, but we can understand the beauty of this magnificent bird.
thank you for posting, because I didn't see before this bird.

Ciao Ram. Bit OOF MF. Colours and light very good.


  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2012-03-25 10:44]

very nice sighting. great colors this bird has !!

Bonjour Ram,
Agréable valorisation du sujet.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Ciao Ram, lovely bird with fantastic colors, splendid light and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-03-26 0:45]

Hello Ram.
Very touching your note! You are aware that the picture isn't the best, but you show us an extraordinary bird with its marvellous plumage which I don't remember having seen here on TN. Next time you will may be lucky enough for a very sharp shot. I wish it too you.
Have a nice week
Kind regards

Hello Ram
Wonderful capture with beautiful framing, colors and light.
Thank You
Have a nice day!
J. Diogo

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