Xantholaema haemacephala

Xantholaema haemacephala, Mull.

197. :- Xantholcema indica, Lath. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 315; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 460 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 387; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 116; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 63.


Length, 6.3 to 6.5; expanse, 10.75 to 11; wing, 3.12 to 3.25 ; tail, 1.4 to 1.5 ; bill at front, 0.7 ; tarsus, 0.75. Bill black; irides brown ; orbits dull crimson ; feet coral-red ; claws black.

Green above, the feathers of the back and wing-coverts more or less margined with yellowish; beneath, yellowish or greenish-white, streaked with green; the whitish predominating on the middle of the belly, broad frontal space, and wide pectoral gorget, glistening crimson; throat and around the eye pale sulphur-yellow ; below the crimson gorget is a narrow crescent of golden-yellow; a band across the crown, continued round to the yellow throat, and a moustachial streak black ; a bluish tinge on the occiput and sides of the neck, where the black passes gradually into the green of the back, and also on the margins of the scapulars and tail.

The Crimson-breasted Barbet is very common throughout the Deccan, and in most parts of Rajpootana and Central India; it is not uncommon in Guzerat, but in Sind it only occurs as a somewhat rare visitant. In all other places within our limits it is a permanent resident, breeding from February to the end of May; its eggs, three in number, (there is no nest) are deposited in a hole pierced in a branch of a tree, generally one that is decayed and hollow in the centre; the eggs are dull-white in color, elongated ovals in shape, and measure 0.99 inches in length by 0.69 in breadth.

During the breeding season its monotonous note (from which it gets its name of coppersmith), took-took-tooh, which it utters from the top of a tree, is heard incessantly from early morning till late at night.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Xantholaema haemacephala
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Crimson-breasted Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet
Megalaima haemacephala

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