Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Red-headed barbet

Eubucco bourcierii

Common name:

Order Piciformes
Family Capitonidae

These South American birds are found in Costa Rica and Panama, on both slopes of the western Andes of Colombia, on the west slope of the Andes of Ecuador, and on the eastern slope of the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, and northern Peru.

The red-headed barbet is 15 cm long and weighs 34 g.

They occur in mountain evergreen forest, forest borders, and adjacent secondary-growth. They are found at altitudes of 400-2.400 m.

Red-headed barbets eat a variety of insects and arthropods, including beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, flies and scorpions. They also consume fruits, including berries of Myrica, Ericacacea, Micronia, Ocotea tonzuzii, guava, and banana.

These birds breed in March-June. The nest is in a cavity in a tree or a fence post, where the female lays 2-5 white, unmarked eggs. The eggs are incubated for 15 days by both parents, although only the female incubates at night. The chicks are fed insects by their parents and fledge 31-42 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is described as fairly common. The overall population trend is believed to be one of decline, mostly owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but the current rate of decline is not thought to be a cause for concern.

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