Order Piciformes

Family Capitonidae

New World Barbets
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Traditionally, all barbets were lumped into a single family under this name. In recent decades, increasing weight of evidence #R#R#R#R indicates: separate families should be recognized for species from America (Capitonidae), Asia (Megalaimidae) and Africa (Lybiidae); American barbets further divisible by recognition of aberrant family Semnornithidae; and American barbets are closer to toucans than to Old World barbets.

  • Small to moderately large, robust arboreal birds with strong bill and sharp claws.
  • Pantropical, with greatest diversity in Afrotropical.
  • Forest, woodland and scrub.
  • 9-35 cm.
  • 2 genera, 18 species, 35 taxa.
  • 4 species threatened;
    none extinct since 1600.

Recommended citation

Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2019). New World Barbets (Capitonidae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52283 on 14 December 2019).