African Barbets (Lybiidae) - African Wildlife and Nature Photographs

African Barbets

Family: Lybiidae

Their are some 42 species of African Barbets in the family Lybiidae, these are further split into sub families Lybiinae and Trachyphoninae. Lybiinae are further split into 6 genus and Trachyphoninae 1 genus. Some of the most common and colourful African Barbets are among the sub family Lybiinae, genus Lybius, like the Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus) and from the sub family Trachyphoninae, genus Trachyphonus, comes the Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii).

All in all African barbets are colourful, small to medium sized Barbets and are about 20–25 cm (7.9 – 9.8 in) long and rather chunky-looking. African Barbets generally have large heads with heavy bills which are tinged with bristles. Geographically African Barbets are found generally from Sub-Saharan Africa to South and Southern Africa.

Barbets are mainly fruit eating birds but are known to take insects and small vertebrates like frogs and lizards. Interestingly many African Barbets are known to nest in holes bored in trees, riverbanks or even old termite mounds. Typically Barbets lay between 2-4 eggs with an incubation period of some 15 days of which both the male and female share the parental duties of incubation and food gathering.

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Return to: Birds of Southern Africa

African Barbet Species - Crested Barbet

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