Wild Birds

Crested Barbets

Crested Barbets (Trachyphonus vaillantii)

The Crested Barbets (Trachyphonus vaillantii) are African endemic that are found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They are usually seen alone.

Crested Barbets Resting on a Tree Branch
Crested Barbets Resting on a Tree Branch


Crested Barbet measure about 20 – 25 cm long in length. They are plump-looking, with large heads. Their heavy bill is fringed with bristles.


Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on various fruits. They will also visit plantations and take cultivated fruit and vegetables. They typically eat fruits whole, and regurgitate indigestible material, such as seed pits, later.

To a lesser extent, they will eat insects, including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths and mantids. They may even take scorpions and centipedes, as well as lizards, frogs and geckos.

The Crested Barbet Sitting Calmly In The Thorn Of A Tree
The Crested Barbet Sitting Calmly In The Thorn Of A Tree

Nesting / Breeding

Crested Barbet mostly nest in holes bored into dead trees, branches or stumps. On occasion, they may nest in riverbanks or termite nests. The hen usually lays between 2 to 4 eggs that are incubated for 13–15 days. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the young.







Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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