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crested barbet

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Crested barbets (Trachyphonus vaillantii) can be found in both damp and dry open woodlands, as well as Acacia woodland. They are usually found solitary or in pairs and usually roost in self-excavated or natural holes in trees.

Distribution: North and north-eastern regions of the country, mainly confined to the Caprivi, Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta.

Diet: Drinks regularly. Forages around sparse cover near trees and bushes singly or in pairs. The feed on termites, beetles, grasshoppers, moths and snails when fruit is scarce. Figs, jackal-berries are also favoured and occasionally they will rob nests for eggs and chicks.

Description: Medium to large barbets with long tails, crests on the back of the head and reasonably long and narrow bills without 'teeth'. Their plumage is mostly black, with yellow and white spots and flecks.

Breeding: Solitary nesters built by both male and female in a dead trunk or branch up to 4m off the ground. Females lay 3 or 4 eggs at 24hr intervals with wood chips on the bottom of the chamber. The incubation period is around 17 days.

Size: 23 to 24cm. Weight: 60 to 80g.

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