I realise I featured them only last month, nonetheless I think it is worth looking at them again for they are beautiful birds with a fairly comical character. Over the years my monthly bird lists indicate that at least one pair of Black-collared Barbets (Lybius torquatus) regularly visits our garden – they have certainly brought their offspring here to feed too. Although Lybius apparently refers to this bird having been mentioned by Aristotle (how can anyone be sure of that?) the Greek philosopher was likely referring to a woodpecker. Look at this one’s strong beak – with its characteristic notch, its red forehead and face, along with the smart black collar that tops its pale yellow bottom. Its eyes look warm and interesting too – kind eyes.
They are quite at home in our garden that has plenty of foliage cover as well as older trees filled with holes useful for nesting in. You can tell by the slight tilt of this bird’s head that it is on the alert and is fully aware of its surroundings.
Black-collared Barbets make a bee-line for any fruit I put out and seem to be particularly partial to apples.
It has been blisteringly hot here of late. As birds cannot sweat, they keep cool by splashing in a bird bath, sticking to the shade during the hottest part of the day, or resorting to gular fluttering. That is what this Black-collared Barbet is doing: opening its mouth and fluttering its neck muscles to promote heat loss.