ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Toucan Barbet - Harlequin of the Andes

Updated on December 19, 2011
Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)
Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus) | Source


There are seven species of New World Barbets (Capitonidae) that inhabit the tropical rainforest of Ecuador. They are considered a distinct family apart from the Old World Barbets and the African Barbets and believed to be more closely associated with the Toucan. They are stocky and colorful birds found in the canopy and humid mountain forest borders, often seen feeding on fruits and berries. Although males and females vary greatly in coloration, the Toucan Barbet is an exception. Barbets build their nests in tree holes and cavities.

Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)
Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)

Toucan Barbet

The Toucan Barbet can be found in the tropical rainforest on the western slopes of the Andes from northwest Ecuador to west Cotopaxi. They normal range is between 1,400 and 2,400 meters (4,400 and 8,000 feet). Although this species appears to be thriving quite well in Ecuador, it was placed on near-threatened status by Collar in 1994 due to its growing scarcity in Columbia.

The Toucan Barbet is a brilliantly colored and stout bird measuring 21.5 to 23 cm (8 ½ to 9 inches) in length. The bill is very hefty with a mixture of yellow and pale green tipped with black. Red eyes peer out from behind a black mask that ends at the collar. There is an obvious white stripe behind the eye. A mantle of golden brown descends the back, transforming to a yellow at the rump. The wings and tail are gray. The sides of the neck, throat and chest are a bluish gray, with the breast and mid-belly a vibrant red. The underbelly sports a greenish yellow hue. It is obvious that this little harlequin like bird cannot be mistaken for any other species.

The Toucan Barbet is most often seen in pairs or small groups, perching for extended periods on stout horizontal branches. They are sometimes found in groups with tanagers, feeding on fruit in the canopy of mountain forests. When in flight, they beat their wings rapidly making a boisterous racket. It communicates with loud, booming honks: the male and female having different pitches. It also regularly clacks its bill to attract the attention of the opposite sex. The Toucan Barbet can be readily observed at the Bellavista Forest Reserve, Milpe Bird Sanctuary, Mindo Valley, Paz de las Aves, Tinalandia and Tandayapa Valley.


The Toucan Barbet is a delightful and vibrantly colored bird that is a pleasure to observe when visiting the rainforests of Ecuador. It is one of the spectacular species that makes this an important destination for the avid and the casual birdwatcher. 


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)