Bird of the Week – Crested barbet

THE crested barbet is a common resident bird of KZN and the north east of South Africa.

It has a sustained, penetrating, unmusical trill lasting up to 30 seconds, rather like a broken alarm clock ‘tirrrrrrr’.

They are vocal throughout the year, especially in early summer.

They love thornveld, thickets in woodlands, riverine bushveld, exotic plantations, parks and gardens.

Crested barbets are usually found solitary or in pairs feeding on insects, worms, fruit, snails and bird’s eggs. They love feeding trays in gardens.

They breed throughout the year and can raise up to four broods per year. They usually lay two to four white eggs in a nest excavated in the hole of a tree and will use nesting boxes.

The incubation period is 17 days and nestlings remain for 27 to 30 days.

There is no Zulu name and in Afrikaans, the crested barbet is called kuifkophoutkapper.

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