Prong-billed barbet

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Prong-billed barbet
Prong-billed Barbet.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Semnornithidae
Genus: Semnornis
Species: S. frantzii
Binomial name
Semnornis frantzii
(Sclater, 1864)

The prong-billed barbet (Semnornis frantzii) is a distinctive, relatively large-billed bird native to humid highland forest in Costa Rica and western Panama.

It often has been placed with the other barbets in the Capitonidae. However, DNA studies have confirmed that this arrangement is paraphyletic; New World barbets are more closely related to toucans than they are to Old World barbets.[2] As a result, the barbet lineages are considered distinct families; the prong-billed barbet and the toucan barbet now form a separate family, Semnornithidae.

The prong-billed barbet prefers cool, wet, moss-festooned mountain forest with large trees and adjacent habitat. Eats mainly fruits of trees and epiphytes, although it occasionally takes insects or flower petals. Flight is direct with rapid and buzzy wingbeats. The frequently heard and distinctive song is a throaty "cwa-cwa-cwa-cwa..." duet given by mated pair or two individuals in a group. Pairs nest March–May in an unlined woodpecker cavity, with 4–5 eggs in the nest.

The binomial commemorates the German naturalist Alexander von Frantzius.


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