Endemic birds
Endemic bird

Yellow-Fronted Barbet Megalaima flavifrons


Sinhalese - Mukalan Kottoruwa
Tamil       - Kukuruwan

Yellow-Fronted Barbet.jpg

The Yellow-fronted Barbet is an endemic which is widely distributed in the well wooded areas and forests of the wet zone and the hills up to 2000 metres. It also occurs sporadically in the forests of the Eastern Dry zone foot hills. It is a smaller bird than the familiar Brown-headed Barbet with a shorter lead coloured beak, a distinctive bluish face and golden-yellow forehead. It is commonly encountered within its range. Its distinctive metallic call ‘qui-ock, qui-ock’ uttered continuously allows it to be located without much difficulty though it is a bird of the canopy where its green plumage blends well with the surroundings. This call, though somewhat similar to a Brown-headed Barbet’s, is easily distinguished due its higher pitch. Often the call is preceded by a rolling, high-pitched ‘krrrrrr’. It usually associates as a pair which keep in touch by calling.

The Yellow-fronted Barbet is a fruit eater spending much time looking for these. Animal matter are also taken occasionally, especially when young have to be fed.

In common with other barbets, this species too nests in tree holes. The nest-hole is excavated by the birds themselves, usually into a vertical, decayed or semi decayed branch or stump. The usual height is from 3 to 10 metres or more. However, occasionally the birds nest very low, digging into wooden fence posts etc, as low as two metres from ground level. Both adults partake in nesting duties. The nest hole is dug in about two weeks, incubation takes another two weeks while the young stay in the nest for about five to six weeks. The opening of the nest hole is neat and circular. The usual nesting period usually is from February till about May with a secondary season in August-September. The young are like the adults but duller.  The eggs which are two to three in number are white in colour.

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