Banded Barbets

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The Banded Barbet (Lybius undatus) is an African Barbet found in Eritrea and Ethiopia.


They are usually about 20 - 25 cm long, plump-looking, with large heads. Their heavy bill is fringed with bristles.

Diet / Feeding

These mostly solitary birds eat a variety of fruits, including figs. They will also visit plantations and feed on cultivated fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten whole and indigestible material such as seed pits regurgitated later. They are believed to be important agents in seed dispersal.

In addition to fruit, they also eat a wide range of insects are taken, including ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths, mantids, as well as scorpions and centipedes. On occasion, they may also feed on lizards, frogs and geckos.

Nesting / Breeding

They typically nest in tree cavities. The hen usually lays between 2 to 4 eggs that are incubated for 13 - 15 days. Nesting duties are shared by both parents.


There has been generally little interference by humans. Some of the species which require primary woodland are declining due to deforestation, occasionally to the benefit of close relatives. For example the loss of highland woods in Kenya has seen the Moustached Green Tinkerbird almost disappear and the Red-fronted Tinkerbird expand its range.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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