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Toucan barbet

Semnornis ramphastinus
Photo by Tadeusz Stawarczyk (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
toucan barbet (en); capitão-tucano (pt); cabézon toucan (fr); tucán barbudo (es); tukan-bartvogel (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Capitonidae

This species is found along the western slopes of the Andes, in southern Colombia and northern Ecuador.

These birds are 19-25 cm long and weigh 85-110 g.

The toucan barbet is found in mountain evergreen forests, secondary forests, open woodlands and pastures, at altitudes of 1.000-2.400 m.

They are mainly frugivorous, eating a wide range of fruits, namely Cecropia and Ficus, but will also eat termites and other insects when they come across them.

Toucan barbets breed in February-October. They live in small family groups of up to 6 birds, with an adult pair and young that help raising the new clutch. They nest in a tree cavity, where the female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by all group members for 15 days. The chicks are fed by all group members and fledge 43-46 days after hatching, but only becomy fully independent 4 weeks later.

IUCN status – NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively small breeding range and is described as uncommon. The population is declining at a moderately rapid rate, due to illegal trapping for the international cage bird trade and habitat loss through intensive logging, human settlement, cattle grazing, mining and coca and palm cultivation.

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