Red-headed barbet

One of the prime examples of sexual dimorphism

Dave Wendelken

Red-headed barbet


One of the prime examples of sexual dimorphism

Population 5,000,000

A striking bird species belonging to the Capitonidae family of New World barbets. Distributed across several countries in Central and South America, including Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, this colorful bird is renowned for its vibrant plumage and distinctive appearance.

Male Red-headed Barbets are characterized by their vivid red heads, which contrast sharply with their white bellies and orange to yellow breasts. A white collar separates the red head from the olive-green back, creating a striking visual contrast. Interestingly, the breadth of the orange-yellow breast band and the intensity of the red coloration on the neck and chest can vary among different subspecies, adding to the species’ intriguing diversity.

While the exact dietary habits of the Red-headed Barbet have not been extensively studied, it is known to have a varied diet consisting of arthropods such as larvae and adult insects, as well as fruits like berries and bananas, particularly when visiting feeders. This eclectic feeding behavior underscores the adaptability of the species to different environments and food sources.

In terms of breeding behavior, the Red-headed Barbet exhibits typical traits of New World barbets. Like its relatives, it excavates cavities in trees and fence posts for nesting purposes. The clutch size typically ranges from two to five eggs, with both male and female birds taking turns to incubate the eggs during the day. This cooperative breeding strategy ensures the success of the nesting cycle and contributes to the reproductive success of the species.


Population est.
Costa Rica

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No