Akril15's avatar

Five Barbets

12 9 856 (1 Today)
By Akril15   |   
© 2005 - 2020 Akril15
I was flipping through The Encyclopedia of Birds and saw a picture of an incredibly beautiful bird, which was labeled as a golden-throated barbet (more on this later). On the facing page was a red-and-yellow barbet, another striking creature, which (I think) is the same species as ’s character Calleo, which once said looked like a hippy. Intrigued, I started researching barbets, and in doing so, I realized…

Duuuuuuude! They all look like hippies, maaan! And they’re like, zygodactylous! With those totally righteous rictal bristles!

So I embarked on yet another major project that took me about a month to complete. I looked up five of the most striking species of barbets, and tried to draw them in a semi-realistic style (which is hard to do when your tablet’s pressure sensitivity is about as reliable as the daily weather report), with this as the end result.

Back to the so-called golden-throated barbet in TEOB: though it was labeled as a golden-throated, that bird had a red throat. After doing my online research, I discovered a bird nearly identical to the bird depicted in the book, except its throat was golden, and it was called the golden-throated barbet. How could this be, I asked myself. I searched a bit more, and finally found a picture of the book’s “golden-throated” barbet with the red throat, except it was called the red-throated barbet.

“Uh, Mr. Editor, what’s the name of this bird in the barbets section? The one with the red throat?”
“The barbet with the red throat? I dunno.”
“Huh. I guess I’ll call it a golden-throated barbet, since it’s got some gold on it.”

Sheesh, how colorblind do you have to be to confuse red and yellow?? And as if this weren’t bad enough, this is written on the facing page (p. 293): “The metallic quality of the voices of several African and Oriental species has earned them names such as stinkerbird, blacksmith and coppersmith.”

*snort.* “Stinkerbird”? I’m afraid I don’t get the connection here either…how does a metallic sound equal foul odor? And to add insult to injury right on the opposite page, there’s a photo of a tinkerbird, complete with caption. And this edition is more than twenty years old! Where’s a proofreader when you need him?

Left to right: Vieillot’s barbet (which I wish I’d drawn from the front; they’ve got this delightfully nasty-looking red streak down their chests), fire-tufted barbet, red-throated barbet, toucan-barbet, versicolored barbet. I started on one side of the lineup and worked my way to the other. I’m not sure if my “improvement” during my progress is very obvious. I'd be interested to know if anyone can detect any changes in the figures, and if so, which side of the line they think I started from.
Image size
1452x984px 198.73 KB
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
SaritaWolff's avatar
SaritaWolffHobbyist General Artist
Yeah, bird names are like that. Like, The purple martin? It's scarlet. The Red-bellied woodpecker? No red AT ALL on it's chest. There's a tiny bit on it's head but that's it. I really want to find who comes up with these names. Don't even get me started on the Blue-footed Booby...

But anyways, I like the Vieillot’s barbet; I love it's expression. It's all like "You put one finger on me and you're dead." =D
Akril15's avatar

There are certainly a lot of misnamed birds out there. I guess the reason why the red-bellied woodpecker was given that name was because "red-headed woodpecker" was already taken. They do have a teeny tiny bit of pink on their bellies, but that's it. By the way -- the booby's name actually comes from a Spanish word meaning "silly".

(Purple martins are scarlet? They look black with a violet iridescence to me, not reddish.)
SaritaWolff's avatar
SaritaWolffHobbyist General Artist
oops. don't know what I was thinking there. (they still are misnamed though =D)
mjangelvortex's avatar
Dude-ette those are like radical colors you like have. You are one with the art. :D
Akril15's avatar
Thanks! I can only imagine what it would be like to see one of these birds in the wild.

"One with the art", eh? That's a very complimentary title to bestow upon another. It's better than "godless heathen" or "poodle", I suppose.
stuffed's avatar
stuffed Digital Artist
*is in a state of glee* YAY BARBETS. XD hehehehe. This is top of cool.
Did you start on the right? I say this because my favorite and the most detailed-looking is Vieillot's barbet on the left x)
Akril15's avatar
That is correct! You've got quite an eye for detail.

Thanks for commenting as well!
Nimrassa's avatar
wow, very colorful birds, well done! :clap:
morosely-deviant's avatar
Hippie birds indeed :giggle:
You did an excellent job of bringing out the colors!
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In