Green barbet

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Green barbet
Flickr - Rainbirder - Green Barbet (Stactolaema olivacea) (cropped).jpg
The nominate race in Kenya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Lybiidae
Genus: Stactolaema
Species: S. olivacea
Binomial name
Stactolaema olivacea
(Shelley, 1880)
Stactolaema olivacea, verspreidingkaart.png
Buccanodon olivaceum

The green barbet (Stactolaema olivacea) is a species of bird in the Lybiidae family (African barbets). It is found in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa.[1] It occurs in forests from sea-level to 1,800 metres (5,900 ft).[2] Its isolated populations are vulnerable to forest clearing.[3]


They have dull ginger-olive plumage, but are yellower on the wings, and paler below. The head and chin are dark brown in the nominate race, and the eyes vary from dull red to orange. The bill is black and the feet blackish. Juveniles are duller, with brown eyes.[4]


Their call is a repetitive chock, chock, ...,[4] or chop, chop, ...,[5] sometimes in a duet.


They frequent fruiting branches in the subcanopy, and vary from solitary to social during foraging and roosting.[4] It is a sedentary species which is not known to undertake any movements.[3] It may be particularly dependent on the fruit of wild figs. It breeds in cavities in tree trunks during mid summer.[3]


1897 illustration of a pair of Woodward's barbets, by J.G. Keulemans.

The number of races (or species) is not generally agreed upon, and the conservation status of the taxa depend critically on their taxonomic evaluation.[3] Race S. o. hylophona is sometimes merged with woodwardi in a taxon with tentative species status,[3] the so-called Woodward's barbet. These birds have the ear coverts and hind brow marked in yellow, as opposed to the dusky-headed populations. The type was obtained from oNgoye Forest in South Africa, and named for its discoverers, the Woodward brothers. S. o. belcheri, which lacks the yellow ear coverts,[5] is endemic to two isolated inselbergs, and may constitute a third species.[3]



  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Stactolaema olivacea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Britton, P. L., ed. (1980). Birds of East Africa, their habitat, status and distribution. Nairobi: East Africa Natural History Society. p. 102. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Harisson, J.A.; et al. (1997). The atlas of southern African birds (PDF). Johannesburg: BirdLife SA. p. 716. ISBN 0-620-20730-2. 
  4. ^ a b c Zimmerman, Dale A.; et al. (1999). Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University Press. p. 478. ISBN 0691010226. 
  5. ^ a b c Newman, Ken; et al. (1992). Birds of Malawi. Blantyre: The Wildlife Society of Malawi. pp. 6, 7. ISBN 99908-31-009. 
  6. ^ a b "Green Barbet". Preliminary Map. Tanzania Bird Atlas. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Biodiversity studies in Kilwa and Lindi Districts" (PDF). UTUMI Biodiversity surveys. Tanzania: DANIDA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ref. No. 104.Tan.1.MRS.11): 77 pages. December 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-14.