Wild Birds

Red-fronted Barbets (Tricholaema diademata)

Red-fronted Barbets (Tricholaema diademata)

The Red-fronted Barbets (Tricholaema diademata) are African Barbets that occur naturally in the countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Red-fronted Barbets
Red-fronted Barbet

Subspecies and Distribution:

    • Tricholaema diademata diademata (Heuglin, 1861)
      • Range: Southeastern Sudan and northeastern Ethiopia south to southeastern Uganda and central Kenya.
  • Tricholaema diademata massaica (Reichenow, 1887)
    • Range: South central Kenya south to southwestern and central Tanzania.


Red-fronted Barbets typically measure about 20 – 25 cm in length. They are plump-looking with large heads. Their heavy bill is fringed with bristles.


Diet / Feeding

These mostly solitary birds eat a variety of fruits, including figs. They will also visit plantations and feed on cultivated fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten whole and indigestible material such as seed pits regurgitated later. They are believed to be important agents in seed dispersal.

In addition to fruit, they also eat a wide range of insects are taken, including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths, mantids, as well as scorpions and centipedes.

On occasion, they may also feed on lizards, frogs and geckos.

Red-fronted Barbet Perched on a cactus
Red-fronted Barbet Perched on a cactus

Nesting / Breeding

They typically nest in tree cavities. The hen usually lays between 2 to 4 eggs that are incubated for 13 – 15 days.

Nesting duties are shared by both parents.

African Barbet Information … African Barbet Species IndexAfrican Barbet Photo Gallery


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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