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Barbets: Capitonidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Coppersmith Barbet (megalaima Haemacephala): Species Accounts, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (pogoniulus Chrysoconus): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BARBETS AND

COPPERSMITH BARBET (Megalaima haemacephala): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
TOUCAN BARBET (Semnornis ramphastinus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Barbets are found in northern South America, southern Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, and south and Southeast Asia. They are found mainly within tropical Africa.

Barbets inhabit lowland tropical forests and forest edges. Some species, especially the African ones, are found in secondary forests, parklands, and urban areas that contain fruiting trees. Other species live in drier thornbush habitats with large termite mounds. Barbets like dead wood for digging out nesting holes and to perch on all year-round.


Barbets are fruit eaters, but young barbets need high protein diets and therefore feed on insects. Where available, the fruit, nectar, and blossoms from avocado, banana, fig, mango, papaya, and pepper trees are eaten. Also, ants, beetles, larvae (LAR-vee), bird eggs, centipedes, lizards, locusts, snails, spiders, termites, worms, and young birds are eaten. They are often found foraging around thickets, ditches, and outbuildings.


There is no known significant relationship between people and barbets.


One species, the white-mantled barbet is listed as Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction, dying out, and nine species are Near Threatened, not currently threatened, but could become so. Habitat loss from logging and other human activities continue to threaten populations of barbets.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds