Tuesday, October 25, 2011

World Bird Wednesday: Barbet

A Red and Yellow Barbet (Trachyphonus erytrocephalus), a species found in Eastern Africa.
They are omnivores and will feed on all kinds of berries, fruit, seeds and insects/invertebrates. Sometimes, eggs and chicks of other birds are taken. Usually, they forage on the ground and in groups.
They are very vocal birds and will mob predators such as mongoose or snakes. If not hunted, they are not shy at all and will even enter houses in search of food. Here's a video of a calling bird and a recording of a duet.
Red and Yellow Barbets nest in tunnels, with a up to 40cm long tunnel leading up to the nesting cave. The tunnel is dug into riverbanks, but the birds will also nest in termite hills. Only the parents brood the eggs, but all members of the group will care for the chicks. The males take over the bigger part of brooding and food gathering for the chicks.

a Black-spotted barbet (Captio niger), a similar bird from the Capitonidae family, the American barbets

More birds at World Bird Wednesday

Sources and further reading:
Internet Bird Collection
Wikipedia, German and English
Photos were taken at Burgers Zoo and Hagenbecks Tierpark

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