Usambiro Barbet

Usambiro Barbet (Trachyphonus usambiro)

The Usambiro Barbet (Trachyphonus usambiro) is an African endemic that is found in Kenya and Tanzania.

Two Usambiro Barbet Perched on Tree
Two Usambiro Barbet Perched on Tree


They are usually about 20 – 25 cm long, 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 is regurgitated later. They are believed to be important agents in seed dispersal.

In addition to fruit, they also eat a wide range of insects, including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths, and mantids, as well as scorpions and centipedes. On occasion, they may also feed on lizards, frogs, and geckos.

Usambiro Barbet Taking Off on the Branch
Usambiro Barbet Taking Off on the Branch

Related Link: Stonechats

Nesting / Breeding

The Usambiro Barbets birds 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.

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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