White-eared Barbets

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The White-eared Barbet (Stactolaema leucotis) is a South African Barbet that is found in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, where they live in the coastal forest belts. They are locally common and are usually seen in flocks.



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. They will also visit plantations and take cultivated fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten whole and indigestible material such as seed pits regurgitated later. They will also feed on insects, such as ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths, mantids - sometimes even scorpions and centipedes. They may also eatlizards, frogs and geckos.


Nesting / Breeding

They usually roost communally and nest in holes bored into dead trees, branches or stumps - occasionally in riverbanks or termite nests. The hen usually lays between 2 to 4 eggs that are incubated for 13–15 days. Nesting duties are shared by both parents.

White-eared Barbet

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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