Rannalal Kottoruwa
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka

Local Name : The Yellow-Fronted Barbet
Scientific Name : Megalaima flavifrons (Cuvier)


Between the Red-vented Bulbul and Common Mynah in size. Sexes alike. The yellow forehead, blue face, and comparatively small beak, distinguish this bird from the last.

Throughout its range it is a common bird, not shy, and well known for its resounding calls, which form a pleasant feature of its haunts.The Yellow-fronted Barbet feeds on numerous kinds of berries, wild figs, and cultivated fruits such as guavas and pawpaws-being rather a pest in orchards.   It feeds its young mainly on fruit, but also on some animal food as W.W.A. Philips has published a photograph of one at its nest-hole with a gecko in its beak.

The breeding season is from February to May, with a secondary season in August-September, but an occasional nest may be found at other times of the year.  The nest-hole is very similar to that of the Brown-headed Barbet but slightly smaller- about two inches in diameter.  The cavity inside is oval and, if a new one, is about eight inches deep; but sometimes the birds use a nest for several years running, digging it deeper each year until it may be two feet or more deep.  The height from the ground varies greatly, but is usually from six to ten feet.  The two or three white, and smooth but not glossy, eggs measure about 28 21 mm.

It is mainly a bird of the hills which it ascends to at least 6,500 feet, but it is found in many parts of the low-country wet zone, and in scattered colonies in some dry-zone districts to the east of the mountains.   In many of its habits it resembles the Brown-headed Barbet, but is more partial to heavy forest although by no means confined to it.



Source: "A field guide to the birds in Sri Lanka - Dr. Sarath Kotagama
"Birds in Sri Lanka" - G.M.Henry  

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