Black-spotted barbet

Black-spotted barbet
Capito niger
Photo by João Quental (Flickr)

Common name:

black-spotted barbet (en); capitão-de-bigode-carijó (pt); cabézon tacheté (fr); capitán turero (es); tupfenbartvogel (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Capitonidae

This South American species is found from western Colombia, through Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and east to northern Brazil.

These birds are 18-19 cm long and weigh 53-67 g.

Black-spotted barbets are mostly found in mature, lowland forest, both dry and wet floodplain forests and upland forests, but also along forest edges, in gardens, orchards and plantations. In Peru they are also found in elfin high altitude forests and in the Guyanas also in forest patches in savanna and coastal forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.700 m.

They search among the vegetation, peaking insects, fruits and oily seeds.

Black-spotted barbets excavate a cavity in a tree stump, 8-12 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-4 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 14-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 34 days after hatching, but continue to receive food from their parents for another 3 weeks.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is believed to be large as the species is described as fairly common in at least parts of its wide range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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