The Blue-eared Barbet, Megalaima australis, is an Asian barbet. Barbets
a group of near passerine birds with a world-wide tropical distribution.
They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.
The Blue-eared Barbet is a resident breeder in the hills from
northeast India east to through Southeast Asia to Singapore, Indonesia
and Borneo. It is a species of broadleaf evergreen forest, mixed
woodland and second growth up to 1525 m altitude. It nests in a tree
This small barbet is 17-18 cm in length. It is a plump bird, with a
short neck, large head and short tail. The bill is dark, and the body
plumage is green, but the subspecies have different head patterns. The
adult male of the form, M. a. cyanotis, which occurs from northeast
India to peninsular Thailand has a black forehead, blue midcrown, ear
coverts and throat, red markings above and below the earcoverts, and
orange cheeks. The female has a duller head pattern with a more orange
tint to the patches above and below the ear coverts, and the juvenile
has a green head with some blue on the ear coverts and throat.
The male’s territorial call is a repeated loud ko-tek. Other calls
include a whistled pleow.