Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet (Trachylaemus purpuratus)


French: Barbican pourpré German: Gelbschnabel-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo piquigualdo oriental
Other common names: Yellow-billed Barbet (when lumped with T. goffinii and T. togoensis)

Trachyphonus lurpuratus

[sic] J. P. Verreaux and J. B. É. Verreaux

, 1851,



Hitherto considered conspecific with T. goffinii and T. togoensis, but differs from both in characters indicated under those species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. purpuratus J. P. Verreaux & J. B. É. Verreaux, 1851 – SE Nigeria E to S Central African Republic, S to N Angola and C DRCongo.
  • T. p. elgonensis Sharpe, 1891 – S South Sudan and NE DRCongo E to W Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–24 cm; 66–109 g (mainly 75–95 g). Nominate race black, red, yellow and white, with silvery-pink throat, yellow bill and facial skin, deep red to orange-... read more


    Large repertoire; song (given year-round) low “hoop” notes at 1–2 per second, in... read more


    Lowland and lower montane forest in understorey, also riverside thickets and forest, forested... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including ants and termites, larvae of various insects; also snails; and fruits of avocados, figs, and diverse species of e.g... read more


    Season Jan–Jul in Nigeria; Aug–Jan in Cameroon, C DR Congo and Angola; probably all year in Uganda and Kenya. Nests mainly or... read more


    Resident, and sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Densities of 8–13 pairs/km² in Gabon, where nests may be as close as 200 m. Requires forest with dense undergrowth; after forest clearance... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Eastern Yellow-billed Barbet (Trachylaemus purpuratus). 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 on 13 December 2017).