Meet the exceptionally vibrant Versicolored Barbet!
Subspecies of the barbet have some differences in their appearance, however, all of the male birds can be identified by their bright red face and crown that meets with blue-green feathers towards the top of the head.
The male’s lower breast has a red half-moon-shaped swatch dividing a lemony yellow chest from a green feathered belly.
The female and male birds have different color patterns
Where the male has a bold yellow chest, the female birds have green to blue-green chest feathers. The female birds also have a more yellowish belly with green feather streaks throughout.
They are native to Bolivia and Peru
All of the barbet subspecies are around 6.3 inches long when mature. The bird is native to South America and is a non-migratory species, meaning that it lives in the jungles of Bolivia and Peru year-round.
The versicolored barbet prefers sub-montane forest areas
All three subspecies of the Versicolored barbet prefer to live in sub-mountainous forest areas rich in heavy epiphytes (air plants) and mosses. They also thrive in mature secondary forested areas and typically live in a range of altitude between 1,000 to 2,000 meters.
The bird’s diet consists of berries, seeds, and bugs
The barbet’s diet consists of about 80% fruit and seeds and about 20% arthropods which they hunt by tearing and poking through clusters of decomposing leaves on the forest floor.
There is still quite little known about this species
The secretive little bird is not very accustomed to being around humans, making them hard to study in the wild. There is little known about the breeding habits of the species and even less is known about the subspecies.
The most populous species of the barbet breeds between July and December. Bird watchers have described at least one nest built inside an existing tree hole with three eggs inside.
Striking light blue feathers around the beak look like a mustache
This female versicolored barbet can be identified by her blueish chin that fades into a green belly
Watch this spectacular bird in action in the video below!
This rare species is a challenge to find in the wild
The versicolored barbet is considered a generally uncommon to rare species. Two subspecies are classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, while the Blue-chinned barbet has been evaluated as Near Threatened.”
Like most subtropical birds they face threats of deforestation, loss of habitat, and climate change. If you get the chance to spot one of these evasive birds in the wild be sure to pay attention because little is known about their behavior!