Tell apart Brown and Green Barbets

The barbets with brown heads and green bodies can all look similar and confusing at first. Listed below are some similar looking birds and tips to help you find out which bird you saw.

Brown-headed Barbet
The Brown-headed barbet (Megalaima zeylanica) can be confused the most with lineated barbet or sometimes the white-cheeked barbet. All three have the same overall coloration of green and brown and some white stripes. However we could use the following methods to confirm our identification that we indeed saw the brown-headed barbet.
The brown-headed barbet has more brown and less white compared to lineated barbet.

  • Their white stripes on head and neck are really narrow.
  • No white “eyebrows” and no white cheek patches when compared to white-cheeked barbet.
  • Their yellow patch of skin around the eye is real big – reaching upto and sometimes a little below the beak opening whereas the lineated barbet’s stops above the beak opening.

The diagram below helps you view the tips listed above, with reference to the bird.See More Photos here.

brown-headedvsothersimilarbarbets                                                Barbet’s Photo Courtesy of Hafiz Issadeen

Lineated Barbet
The Lineated barbet (Megalaima lineata) can be confused the most with brown-headed or sometimes the white-cheeked barbet. All three have the same overall coloration of green and brown and some white stripes. However we could use the following methods to confirm our identification that we indeed saw the lineated barbet.

  • The lineated barbet has more broad white stripes on its breast and head
  • No white “eyebrows” and no white cheek patches when compared to white-cheeked barbet.
  • Their yellow patch of skin around the eye  stops above the beak opening.

The diagram below helps you view the tips listed above, with reference to the bird.See More Photos here.

lineatedbarbetvsothersimilarbarbets                                                   Barbet’s Photo Courtesy of  Vijay Anand Ismavel

White-cheeked Barbet
The Lineated barbet (Megalaima lineata) can be confused the most with brown-headed or sometimes the white-cheeked barbet. All three have the same overall coloration of green and brown and some white stripes. However we could use the following methods to confirm our identification that we indeed saw the lineated barbet.

  • The lineated barbet has more broad white stripes on its breast and head
  • No white “eyebrows” and no white cheek patches when compared to white-cheeked barbet.
  • Their yellow patch of skin around the eye stops above the beak opening.

The diagram below helps you view the tips listed above, with reference to the bird.See More Photos here.
white-cheekedbarbetvsothersimilarbarbets                                                      Barbet’s Photo Courtesy of   Joseph T A

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