Page 2 - BIOME 2022 | Issue 1
P. 2

ISSUE 01 - 2022

The CES BIOME is a biannual online
magazine, which strives to provide verified
and unbiased scientific knowledge to
the general reader in a comprehensible
manner through science, policy, news, and
art related to environmental awareness.

                                             Cover Art: Nadeela Hirimuthugoda

ON THE COVER: Crimson-fronted Barbet Psilopogon rubricapillus (Gmelin, 1788)

One of the 34 species of birds that are      its scientific name, rubricapillus, means
endemic to Sri Lanka, the Crimson-           ‘red capped’ or ‘red crowed’ from Latin
fronted Barbet, now also called Sri Lanka    ruber meaning red and capillus meaning
Barbet, is found mainly in the wet and       capped or crowned). It also has orange
intermediate zones of the island. A bird     around its eyes and throat. The base of
of the wooded areas, it may be observed      the stout, strong bill has several tufts of
up to an elevation of 1300 m above sea       bristles whose precise function is unclear.
level, including the Hantana mountain        In fact, the first part of its scientific name
range and the campus of the University of    comes from Greek psilos, meaning ‘bare’,
Peradeniya, where its slow wok…wok…          and pogon, meaning ‘beard’. The Sri
wok or rapid popopopop…popopop…              Lanka Barbet usually lives in pairs or small
popopopopopop calls may be familiar          groups. An entirely frugivorous species, it
sounds to an ardent birdwatcher. The         is attracted to trees when they are fruiting.
bird is usually better heard than seen.      It breeds mainly during the period from
The Crimson-fronted Barbet is a small-       March to April. This elegant little bird
sized bird with predominantly green          undoubtedly adds color and beauty to the
plumage and bright red forehead (part of     environment in which it lives.

Chaminda Wijesundara-Department of Zoology, University of Preradeniya

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