Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii)
Crested Barbet

Crested Barbet

Trachyphonus vaillantii

The crested barbet, Trachyphonus vaillantii, is a small, vibrantly colored bird, easily recognized by its thick bill and speckled plumage. Its face is a mosaic of yellow and red, adorned with a modest black crest. The belly mirrors the face with yellow and red speckles, while the wings are black with white dots. A striking black band encircles its neck. The bird's overall yellow hue, peppered with black and white feathers and red at the body's end, provides excellent camouflage in its natural bush habitat. The crested barbet's call is a distinctive trill.

Identification Tips

When identifying the crested barbet, look for its unique coloration and markings. The combination of a yellow and red speckled face, a small black crest, and a broad black neck band are key features. The bird's trilling call can also serve as an auditory clue to its presence.


The crested barbet thrives in a variety of environments, including forests, savannahs, suburban gardens, woodland thickets, and areas near watercourses.


This species is widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa, with sightings confirmed in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


Crested barbets are typically observed alone or in pairs. They exhibit a preference for foraging on the ground but are also known to vocalize from exposed branches. Their flight is limited and typically consists of short bursts. These birds roost in tree cavities and are highly territorial, often aggressively defending their space against other birds and even larger threats like rats and snakes.

Song & Calls

The male crested barbet is renowned for its continuous trill, a call that can persist for extended durations, serving as a vocal beacon within its habitat.


Crested barbets are monogamous and territorial during the breeding season. They nest in tree holes or logs, with territory size varying by habitat. Their breeding season spans from September to December, during which they may lay one to five eggs at daily intervals. Incubation, primarily by the female, lasts between 13 and 17 days starting from the second or third egg. The hatchlings are altricial, being naked and blind at birth, and are fed insects by both parents. After about 31 days, the fledglings leave the nest, and up to five broods may be raised in a single season.

Diet and Feeding

The crested barbet's diet is omnivorous, consisting of insects, other birds' eggs, fruits, and occasionally small mammals like mice.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the crested barbet as Least Concern, indicating that the species does not currently face any significant threats to its survival.

Crested Barbet Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Crested Barbet Fun Facts

Did you know?
The Crested Barbet has the nickname 'fruit salad' after its random plumage colourations and its partially frugivore diet.

Crested Barbets on Birda


More African Barbets

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Simply fantastic
I love this app, it puts so much fun into recording the birds I’ve seen and heard while I’m out and about. The interface is user-friendly and suitable for all ages. It’s great to collect badges and to review my “lists”.
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Ideal Birdwatch Companion
Simply adds to the enjoyment of my birdwatching and helps me record what I’ve seen.
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.