Lock-down photography – Coppersmith Barbet
An Asian barbet with a crimson-toned forehead and throat, the Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus) is identified by its metronomic call, similar to that of a coppersmith striking copper with a hammer. This ubiquitous resident of Mumbai has been chosen as the official bird of the city that never sleeps, India’s business capital of Mumbai.
Meet the most unique Mumbaikar of all times!!
The Coppersmith Barbet was named the official Bird of Mumbai in 2011, winning over competitors like the common crow. It won because of its consistency of habitat and behavior over other birds in this ever-evolving city. Unlike the Crow, the Sparrow, or the Pigeon who eat anything the human beings throw their way, the Coppersmith Barbet sticks to its diet of fruit and insects and makes its home by carving holes in the tree trunks. It has evolved with the City but never changed.
It is a small, sparrow-sized green bird with yellow patches around its eyes and throat. It has a characteristic red forehead patch and red neckband. Named after it’s persistent mechanical call, which sounds like a coppersmith banging metal with a hammer, the barbet is difficult to spot because of it’s camouflage but can be heard all through the day almost everywhere in the city of Mumbai.
You may have heard the sound “Took Took Took” going on and on so many times overhead, but never thought it would be a bird.
The Barbet is also a ventriloquist, so it’s impossible to track it from the direction of the sound. In Marathi the Coppersmith Barbet is called ‘Tambat Tooktookya’, because of it’s red tuft and unique sound.
So if a Coppersmith Barbet ever perches on your window, don’t feed it chapati or bread. It can find it’s own food. The Coppersmith Barbet has been “Atma nirbhar” always…please let it continue to be so!