Vaalnest Reviews the Black-Collared Barbet

Posted by Collen on Tue July 28, 2015 in Birding in Vaal Marina.

The Black-Collared Barbet is a species of bird in the family Lybiidae. It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa through Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This species of bird is known to also incorporate more wing and flight displays into their greeting ceremonies, mating, and territorial displays. It is a gregarious species, often acting in concert when driving off intruders and roosting together (up to 15 recorded) in nest holes. Their flight is direct with a loud whirring of wings. Overall description also reveals that this bird is also sexually monomorphic, which means that there is generally no phenotypic difference between the males and females of this species. The morphology, size and behaviour are basically the same. Here are other features of the Black-Barbet for you to spot at the bird sanctuaries:

  • Its about 20–25 cm long,
  • Plump-looking and has a large head.
  • It also has the heavy bill fringed with bristles that is characteristic of the Lybius genus.
  • Has a very obvious black collar and head which gives reference to its name.
  • It also has a fire-engine red colouring around the eyes and beak.
  • It has morphologically variable colouring because there is a replacement of a red head with a black head.
  • It also has a more intense colour and is larger than other barbets.

These Barbets birds diet mainly consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables making them solitary birds. They will often visit plantations and find food there. They eat fruits whole and the seed pits are regurgitated later. Black-collared barbets can also feed on insects, centipedes, lizards, frogs and geckos, though this does not occur as often. The L. torquatus species has a breeding season from December to February.





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

2. a b "Black-collared Barbets.", (Lybius Torquatus). N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

3. a b "Africa’s Barbets." 10,000 Birds. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

4. a b c d Short, Lester L., and Jennifer F. Horne. "A Review of Duetting, Sociality and Speciation In Some African Barbets (Capitonidae)." Condor 85.3 (1983): 323-32. Web.

5. a b c d e Payne, R. B., and N. J. Skinner. "Temporal Patterns of Duetting in African Barbets." Ibis 112.2 (1970): 173-183. Web.