Coppersmith Barbet | Official Bird of Mumbai

Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet at Deonar, Mumbai

You must have heard the sound of tuk, tuk, tuk made by the Coppersmith Barbet. It sounds as if a coppersmith is striking some metal with a hammer. I’ve heard the sound many times but spotting this bird hasn’t been all that easy. Due it it’s green color very often you’ll only be able to hear this bird and not find it. Quite a camouflage I must say.

Few days back, I was out in our colony to click photos of a pair of Oriental Magpie Robin and a pair of Common Tailorbird. That’s when I noticed a Coppersmith Barbet in the same area. I tried getting as close to it as possible. It’s quite easy to lose this bird in lush green trees so I had to hurry. Luckily for me, this particular Coppersmith Barbet wasn’t very shy and stayed put for more than 3-4 minutes allowing me to take a few shots. All the pictures were shot in “aperture priority” mode. It was late evening and there was no direct sunlight. I had to step the ISO up to 800. I usually don’t go beyond ISO 400 in order to avoid the noise that you can get when using a non-dslr camera. I was using the Canon SX50 HS. At that time, I hadn’t still grasped all the settings and the focusing was a bit experimental. But it seems like it was  good day for  me and most of the photos turned out to be sharp.

Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet with Crimson Forehead and Throat
Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet looking at me
Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet, Quite Camouflaged
Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet, Back Profile

Coppersmith Barbet was announced as the official bird of Mumbai in 2011. This bird has survived the unrestrained, rapid development of the city and thus symbolizes its spirit. These Barbets are mostly frugivorous i.e. fruit-eating birds but sometimes they eat insects, mainly winged termites. These birds are usually found solitary or in pairs, and in small groups (rarely) in gardens and groves. They are often seen sunning themselves in the morning on top of bare branches of tall trees. This tiny bird with greenish body, crimson head, legs and throat and a yellow eye ring plus a yellow throat patch, looks extremely beautiful and it does create a sweet sound.

More info about this bird can be seen here.

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