Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii)

This bird is a beauty, one that we can find in some spots around Costa Rica like Cinchona and Braulio Carrillo. I first met it during this trip to Colombia in Finca Alejandría, where a pair of this species would come and go from the feeders frequently. It is bigger than most tanagers, however it is rather small when compared with how I imagined it. It is the sole species of the Eubucco genus that is found in Costa Rica, with Colombia also hosting the Lemon-throated Barbet. They are related to the toucans, and as such they eat a lot of fruit, however they do not share the Toucan’s behavior of raiding other birds’ nests for eggs and hatchlings. The male and female only share the green body and yellowish beak, with the male having a red face with a white ring separating it from the back, a belly that transitions from deep orange to yellow as it goes down, and flanks that are streaked green and light yellow. On the other hand, the female features a black face with light blue cheeks, orange half hood and patch on the chest, light yellow belly and again streaked flanks in green and light yellow.

Red-headed Barbet, Male - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Macho (2)

The male’s red head is very conspicuous and contrasts nicely with the green back and yellow chest and belly

Red-headed Barbet, Male - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Macho (3)

Note that the throat is also deep red, and there is a white line on the back of the neck

Red-headed Barbet, Male - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Macho (4)

The chest goes from orange to yellow in a gradual fashion. It really is colorful

Red-headed Barbet, Male - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Macho

It has thin black feathers that protude from the face that look just like whiskers

Red-headed Barbet, Female - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Hembra (2)

Although not as colorful as the male, this is a very beautiful bird. The black and turquoise face looks very contrasty

Red-headed Barbet, Female - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Hembra (3)

Male and female are usually spotted together, specially at fruit feeders. They perch on nearby branches for a while before actually joining the feeding frenzy

Red-headed Barbet, Female - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Hembra (4)

The back of the bird is green, and that’s about the colors that the female shares with the male, everything else is different

Red-headed Barbet, Female - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Hembra (5)

The head and chest has a golden glow that looks fantastic. The flanks are striped in green and whitish

Red-headed Barbet, Female - Eubucco bourcierii - Torito Cabecirrojo, Hembra

The bird is actually pretty small, but can be approached quite a lot without disturbing it

 

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