Family Prong-billed Barbets (Semnornithidae)

Least Concern

Prong-billed Barbet (Semnornis frantzii)


French: Cabézon de Frantzius German: Aztekenbartvogel Spanish: Cabezón cocora

Tetragonops frantzii

P. L. Sclater

, 1864,

surrounds of San José, Costa Rica


Relationship with S. ramphastinus suggested by bill morphology, but probably not very closely related. Monotypic.


NC Costa Rica (Tilarán Range) S in mountains to W Panama (Veraguas).

Descriptive notes

c. 18 cm; 54·5–72 g. Distinctive orangey brown-olive barbet with thick bill hooked and pronged. Male with black lores and chin, orange forecrown, elongated,... read more


Song commonly heard, series of hollow “kaw” to “aw” notes at c. 5–6... read more


Wet montane forest, edges, trees in clearings, and well-developed second growth. Extreme altitude... read more

Food and feeding

Fruits from over 30 species and 20 families of trees, shrubs and epiphytes, such as Ficus, and species of Clibadium, ... read more


Groups break up Feb–Mar, egg-laying Mar–Jun. Nests in territorial pairs, with much singing, countersinging, duetting. Cavity of... read more


None reported, presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Often common in limited range, occurs in various parks and reserves in some... read more

Recommended citation

Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Prong-billed Barbet (Semnornis frantzii). 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 22 March 2018).