Nesting of the Coppersmith Barbet

on 8th May 2009

Mike Tan a.k.a woof came across a Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) one evening in November 2008 roosting inside a tree cavity (above left). He returned to the area regularly and in late January 2009 found the bird still around the vicinity (above right). He later located a breeding pair using a cavity in a nearby tree.

In March, a chick apparently hatched and he monitored its development for the next month and a half, observing the adult visiting regularly, bringing insects, etc to feed it (above).

The above images show the antics of the grown up chick that eventually fledged.

“Many other birds and animals tried to check out the chicks: Collared Kingfishers, starlings, Black-naped Orioles, mynas… All bigger than the adult Coppersmith Barbet,” recounts Mike. However, one adult was always around while the other was out foraging. And the duty of the attending adult? To ensure the safety of the chick – diving and hissing at the intruders to chase them away.

Images by Mike Tan.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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