Lifescapes Gallery

10 / Jul / 2014
One Man Heavy Metal Band!
Coppersmith Barbet, Coorg Photograph: Kiran Poonacha Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

One Man Heavy Metal Band!

Psychedelic yellowish-green outfits. Black bordered yellow face paint with black stripes. A crimson sash on the throat and forehead, teamed with red stockings. Scraggly, unkempt whiskers that haven’t seen a barber for ages! The hero of this piece is the quintessential rock star, down to the manic jerking of his head to his own beat. If there are heavy metal fans out there, allow us to introduce you to the Coppersmith, a Barbet (sounds like a little barb, methinks) who is both Vocalist and Oral Percussionist of his own one man band. Hanging around in trees with deadwood, where he can scoop out a personal studio, he is renowned (or notorious, depending on your perspective) for his metronomic call that has been often likened to a copper worker beating a metal sheet with a rhythmic tuk-tuk-tuk. This loud, metallic monotone changes pitch and tempo, cruising at 108 to 121 notes per minute, and at times, exceeding 200. The only respite from this aural terrorism is in winter when the Coppersmith goes strangely silent and can’t be coaxed to call (presuming someone is tone deaf enough to even attempt it). Perhaps the intensity and manic energy can be explained as a caffeine-induced high, considering they flourish in the canopy provided by the fig and berry trees in the shade-grown coffee plantations of Coorg. While the caffeine haze permeates the air, the berries hanging overhead are like manna from heaven and the Barbets easily consume up to three times their body weight each day. But then, they need the nourishment, for the next day promises to be another non-stop, stamina-sapping session of metal-bashing.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 5:31 am and is filed under Birds . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Norma Kamath says:

    This brings to mind my teaching days when I taught Environmental Studies at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School and the students spotted all the birds on the campus with their binoculars and learnt about them through their encylopaedias, excited about the coloured feathers they collected to stick on their files. My son too, had joined the Wild Life Association and went on tours to do bird watching at
    Kemmangundi and Chikmangalur. I wish Orange County every success in this new initiative of responsible Tourism to make the culture and the natural Environment known.

  2. Renu Gupta says:

    Awesome pic!

  3. Prashant says:

    Many greetings from rainy Goa!!
    Thanks for sending such wonderful newsletters with a natural theme each month, the language class is superlative and the photo quality more than real!! Keep it up!!
    Kind regards,

    • Swetha Sridhar says:

      Dear Prashant,

      Greetings from Orange County Resorts!

      Thank you for those wonderful words.
      We hope you continue to enjoy our initiatives.

      Warm regards,
      Swetha Sridhar,
      Asst. Manager – Marketing,
      Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd.

  4. Trevor irvine says:

    Amazing bird and superb photography. From trevor in australia

  5. Susheela Rani says:

    As much as I enjoy the picture, I look forward to reading the story. Truly enjoyable!

  6. Nimmi Belliappa says:

    we have such “beauties” in our beautiful homeland! Good photography and well written!

  7. Mukund Kakatkar says:

    I have always read with a great deal of interest this news letter that is not only very informative, but always has a very high quality photograph accompanied by a write-up that is laced with humour and facts in equal measure. My sincere appreciation to the team behind this fortnightly mailer! Great! Keep up the good work.

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