Himalayan Barbet or the The Great Barbet (Megalaima virens) is an Asian barbet. Barbets are a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.
The Great Barbet is a resident breeder in the lower-to-middle altitudes of the Himalayas, ranging across northern India, Nepal and Bhutan, and some parts of Southeast Asia as far away as Laos. It is a species of broadleaf evergreen woodlands at 600-2,565 m altitude. It nests in a tree hole.
This is the largest barbet at 31--33 cm (12--13 in) in length and a weight of 192--295 g (6.8--10.4 oz). It is a plump bird, with a short neck, large head and short tail.
The adult has a blue head, large yellow bill, brown back and breast, green-streaked yellow belly and red vent. The rest of the plumage is green. Both sexes and immature birds are similar.
The male's territorial call is a very loud kay-oh. The alarm is a harsh keeab, and another call is a repetitive piou-piou-piou-piou.
Landour, a small cantonment town contiguous with Mussoorie, is about 35 km (22 mi) from the city of Dehradun in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. The twin towns of Mussoorie and Landour, together, are a well-known British Raj-era hill station in northern India. Mussoorie-Landour was widely known as the "Queen of the Hills". The name Landour is drawn from Llanddowror, a village in Carmarthenshire in southwest Wales. During the Raj, it was common to give nostalgic English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish names to one's home (or even to British-founded towns), reflecting one's ethnicity. Names drawn from literary works were also common, as from those by Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson and many others.
There are under 100 detached private homes in the Cantonment, and under 200 buildings overall. The non-residential buildings belong to either the military, or to the state-owned broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio, who have repeater stations atop Lal Tibba hill, at over 7,700 ft. the highest point in all of Mussoorie-Landour. The transmitters are mounted on Landour's answer to Paris, an Eiffel-inspired orange-and-white tower that is the most recognizable feature in all of Landour. Lal Tibba was also known as Depot Hill, referring to the convalescent depot. Nearby Sisters Bazaar likewise referred to the nurses' dormitory at the location; nurses are still addressed as 'Sister' in the Subcontinent, from a time in the 19th century when most nurses were Anglican, Methodist or Catholic nuns. The Cantonment is also home to the well-known Landour Community Hospital, founded by American missionaries. At the time of its founding in 1931 it was one of the first good non-military hospitals in the region. It has been run by the Emmanuel Hospital Association, an indigenous Christian health and development agency, since 1981, and continues to provide affordable (or free) medical care to the people of Landour and the surrounding hills.
Among natural features in the area, the local peaks are the most prominent. ('Tibba' is a local word for hill/peak). Other than "Old" Lal Tibba and Landour hill themselves (which lie within the Cantonment), there is the hunched, heavily forested Pari Tibba (also called Fairy Hill or Witches' Hill), lurking due south of Woodstock School and due east of Wynberg-Allen School. Once a private hunting estate of the ruling family of Tehri-Garhwal, it was not deforested for that very reason. It is also called Burnt Hill, referring to the unusual number of lightning strikes it has taken over the years, which has given rise to local superstitions and also helped keep it free of humans. The hill remains a popular hiking spot for the local boarding schools, but not having motorable roads is blessedly free of "tourism". Due north of Landour, 16 km (9.9 mi) away as the crow flies is Nag Tibba ('Serpent's Peak'), at 3,022 m (9,972 ft) the highest peak in the local region. It lends its name to the Nag Tibba Range, itself the next-northerly of the five folds of the Himalaya. To the east of Landour are Tope Tibba and the oddly shaped Pepperpot mountain; both are hiking destinations.
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