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Calling all birders… here’s a major one to tick off the life list!

Black-Breasted Barbet spotted in Zakouma - eastern Chad.

Recent sightings of the black breasted barbet have caused great excitement! The black-breasted barbet (Lybius rolleti) is a species of bird within the Lybiidae family. The population is thought to be in decline due to the removal of dead trees which the bird requires for nesting. Generally found in South West Sudan, the North East Central African Republic, Northern Uganda, Southern Chad and the extreme NE DRCongo.

The black-breasted barbet measures 27 cm in length and weighs between 96–105 g with a big bill. It survives on a diet of guavas, figs, mangoes, other fruits and insects. It is probably one of the least well known of all barbets.

Callan Cohen from Birding Africa, one Africa’s finest naturalists, followed his instinct when he used a GPS to locate fig trees which, once in fruit,were most likely to attract the black-breasted barbet – he was duly rewarded. We can be hopeful that further exploration of the park will result in more new sightings in the future.

High on any birder’s list – the black-breasted barbet is a good reason to head to Zakouma this year!

The photograph was taken by Zanne Labuschagne and Paul Benecke who live in Zakouma. They have located a number of black-breasted barbets in the south of Zakouma National Park.

Read all about Zakouma in our blog.


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