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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa



The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured. There are 84 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Namibia.

Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus

The Yellow-throated Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus subsulphureus) is a species of bird in the Ramphastidae family. It is found in Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Nine families of largely arboreal birds make up the order Piciformes, the best-known of them being the Picidae, which includes the woodpeckers and close relatives. The Piciformes contain about 67 living genera with a little over 400 species, of which the Picidae (woodpeckers and relatives) make up about half.

In general, the Piciformes are insectivorous, although the barbets and toucans mostly eat fruit and the honeyguides are unique among birds in being able to digest beeswax (although insects make up the bulk of their diet). Nearly all Piciformes have parrot-like zygodactyl feet—two toes forward and two back, an arrangement that has obvious advantages for birds that spend much of their time on tree trunks. An exception are a few species of three-toed woodpeckers. The jacamars aside, Piciformes do not have down feathers at any age, only true feathers. They range in size from the Rufous Piculet at 8 centimetres in length, and weighing 7 grams, to the Toco Toucan, at 63 centimetres long, and weighing 680 grams. All nest in cavities and have altricial young.

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus chrysoconus

The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus, is a small African barbet formerly known as Yellow-fronted Tinker Barbet. Barbets are near passerine birds bristles around the base of the bill and a world-wide tropical distribution.

The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird is a widespread and frequently common resident breeder in much of Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. It is sometimes considered conspecific with its southern counterpart, the Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus pusillus.

Associated with dry open woodland and scrub, the Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird eats insects and fruit. The species nests in tree holes and lays two or three eggs.

The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird is a barbet that is approximately 11 cm in length. A plump bird, the Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird has a short neck, large head, and short tail. The adult Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird has black upperparts heavlly streaked with yellow and white. Its head has a strong black and white pattern, with a yellow forecrown spot. The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird's underparts and rump are lemon yellow.

Both sexes are similar in appearance; however, young birds have a differentiating dark crown that lacks the distinct yellow spot.

At about 100 repetitions per minute, the Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird's call is a fast tink-tink-tink-tink. Many barbets perch prominently, but, unlike their larger relatives, the smaller tinkerbirds sing from cover and are more frequently heard than seen.

Pied Barbet Tricholaema leucomelas

The Pied Barbet or Acacia Pied Barbet (Tricholaema leucomelas) is a species of bird in the Ramphastidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus

The Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus) is a species of bird in the Ramphastidae family. It is found in sub-Saharan Africa through Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Readily recognised by its loud duet, commonly rendered as "too-puddly too-puddly too-puddly".... and its snarling warning call. This is a gregarious species, often acting in concert when driving off intruders and roosting together in nest holes. Their flight is direct with a loud whirring of wings.[1]

Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii

The Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii) is a species of bird in the Lybiidae family.

With its thick bill and and very colourful plumage the Crested Barbet is unmistakeable. This small bird has a speckled yellow and red face with a small black crest. The belly is yellow with red speckles, wings are black with white specks and it has a broad black band on its neck. Yellow head and body with black and white feathers, red markings on end of body, its colour blends well in the bush. They have a distinct shrill.

The Crested Barbet feeds on Insects, other birds eggs and fruits.

They nest in a hole in a tree or a Sisal log in a garden. They are monogamous and territorial during breeding. Territory size varies according to their habitat. Eggs are laid between September to December. 1 to 5 eggs are laid at daily intervals. Incubation lasts between 13 to 17 days, beginning with the second or third egg and mainly by the female. The young hatch naked and blind. They are fed insects by both parents. Faecal material is removed regularly. They fledge after about 31 days. Up to five broods have been recorded in a breeding season.

They are found singly or in pairs. They like to bounce around on the ground looking for food, they usually call from a branch out in the open. They do not fly easily and then only for short distances. Crested Barbets roost in holes in trees. They are very vocal, the call being a trill that can continue for long periods. Crested Barbets are aggressive towards other birds in their territory and chase off both nest competitors such as other Barbets and other birds such as doves and thrushes. They have also been recorded to have attacked a rat and killed a snake.

Forests, savannah and sub-urban gardens, woodland thickets and watercourses.

It is found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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