The Coppersmith Barbet is a bird with a red forehead , yellow eye ring and throat patch with streaked underside and green upperparts, it is fairly distinctive. Juveniles are duller and lack the red patches. The sexes are alike. The Sri Lankan form has more black on the face, more red on the breast and darker streaks on the underside. During the nesting season, wear and tear on feathers can cause the plumage of the upper back to appear bluish.

Habitat and Distribution

It is a resident found in the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Throughout their wide range they are found in gardens, groves and sparse woodland. In the Palni Hills of southern India it is said to occur below 4000 feet. In the Himalayas it is found mainly in the valleys of the outer Himalayas up to 3000 feet. They are rare in the dry desert zones and the very wet forests.


Coppersmith Barbets prefer Banyan, Peepul, and other wild figs, various drupes and berries, and the occasional insect, caught in aerial sallies. They include flower petals in their diet.


The breeding season is mainly February to April in India and December to September in Sri Lanka. Both sexes chisel out a hole inside a tree to build their nest on a horizontal branch. Three to four eggs are laid and incubation lasts about 2 weeks and is done by both sexes.

Calls and Songs

The call is a loud rather metallic tuk to tuk to tuk (or tunk), reminiscent of a copper sheet being beaten. In winter they do not call.