Vaalnest reviews the Barbet, Acacia Pied bird

Posted by Collen on Tue July 21, 2015 in Birding in Vaal Marina.

It is known to primarily inhabit the semi-arid savanna, as well as grassland, fynbos, agricultural areas and urban gardens. Even though research also shows it didn’t not previously inhabit these areas before, this bird has expanded over time.

With the introduction of alien vegetation, especially Acacia species from Australia, to regions bordering its original range, this species has been able to expand its range to these otherwise unreachable areas. It is found in various countries such as Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Like most other barbets, the acacia pied barbet drills holes into dead wood to create cavity nests, like a woodpecker. It lays two to four eggs from August to April, and both sexes incubate the eggs. Here are some features to look out for when spotting the Acacia:

  • It has a black-and-white striped head with a red forehead
  • A yellow colouring above the eyes.
  • It has a black bib under the chin, with a white breast and underparts.

The acacia pied barbet has been observed by some birders and researchers taking fruit from various trees and shrubs, such as Ficus, Rhus and Phoenix reclinata, as well as Aloe nectar and insects.




1. BirdLife International (2012). "Tricholaema leucomelas". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.      Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013