More Birds in Taiwan
SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWAN “Endemic Subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by N. J. Collar, from BirdingASIA No. 2, December 2004. Presented with permission. BirdingASIA is the bulletin of the Oriental Bird Club. Please see our Links page for benefits of membership in the OBC.
Twenty centimeters in length, the Black-browed Barbet (nuchalis subspecies) is mainly bright green, with a blue back and neck; black circles with red spots around its eyes; and red spots on its nape. The multitude of colorful green, yellow, blue, black, and red feathers earns the bird its alternate name: “Bird of Five Colors.” Its other characteristics include a thick and heavy bill, large head, and short tail.
The Black-browed Barbet is usually found in broad-leaved and secondary subtropical forests below 2,500 meters, resting in the upper and middle levels of the tree canopy. Like most barbets, they sit motionless for long periods, giving their monotonous, repetitive call tok-tr-trrrrrrt call. While they are easily identified by voice, their natural camouflage makes them difficult to see.
Barbets are closely related to woodpeckers, and have the same arrangement of toes, 2 pointing forward, and 2 back, which enables them to cling to tree trunks. They usually fly only for short distances. Although they are omnivores, their favorite foods are berries, papayas and figs.
Black-browed Barbets breed from April
to June, nesting in tree cavities. They may utilize an existing natural
cavity, or use their stout bills to excavate a new one. The male and
female take turns incubating the eggs and rearing the chicks, which are
The bird is also known in Taiwan as Muller’s Barbet.
Reference : The complete guide to birds in Taiwan (Jin-yuan Wang)