Lakshmi Ravishankar‘s documentation of a pair of Coppersmith Barbets (Megalaima haemacephala) copulating shows a male flying in to join a female perching on a branch. With a fruit between his bill he slowly approaches her. With each step he flaps his wings until he is by her side. He then mounts her back, this time flapping his wings vigorously for balance.
Not sure whether he succeeds in copulating with her… but he dismounts and ends up beside her. A second try sees him approaching her, again with wings flapping. Another mounting and vigorous wing flapping for balance and he possibly succeeds in making cloacal contact LINK. This time he offers her the fruit he was carrying all the time. She accepts the fruit and he regurgitates another for her. Then he flies off. See HERE and the video below.
An earlier post similarly shows the male passing the fruit to the female only after copulation, although he had it between his bill all the time.
According to Short & Horne (2002), copulation may come before courtship feeding or by an allopreening session, or it may occur with no preliminary displays like bowing, swinging of the body and flipping and cocking of the tail, even flight displays.
26th January 2018
Short, L. L. & J. F. M. Horne, 2002. Family Capitonidae (Barbets). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 7. Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 140-219.