Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii)
Iris red-brown; bill yellow-green to greenish grey, tip dusky; legs and feet greenish grey. Head crested; back, tail and broad breast-band black, spotted and scalloped with white; head and face yellow, scaled with red; crest and nape black; rump red; belly yellow, broadly streaked red.
Sustained penetrating unmusical trill, lasting up to 30 seconds; sounds like an alarm clock with its bell removed.
Thornveld, thickets in woodland, riverine bushveld, exotic plantations, parks, gardens.
Natal, Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Botswana, Caprivi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to Angola, Zaire and Tanzania.
Usually solitary or in pairs, vocal throughout the year, especially in early summer. May roost in disused nests, unusually in own nest hole. Tame - comes to feeding trays and nestboxes in gardens. Forages in bushes and trees and hops around on ground.
Insects (especially termites), worms, fruit, snails, birds' eggs.
Season: All months, but especially August to February. May rear up to four broods per season.
Incubation and fledging: Clutch: usually three white eggs. Incubation: 17 days. Nestling: 27-30 days.
References: Gordon Lindsay Maclean: Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa, Sixth Edition. 1993.
Kenneth Newman: Newman's Birds by Colour. 2000.