Family New World Barbets (Capitonidae)

Least Concern

Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii)


French: Cabézon à tête rouge German: Andenbartvogel Spanish: Cabezón cabecirrojo

Micropogon Bourcierii


, 1845,



Has been thought closely related to E. tucinkae, and even regarded as conspecific, but the two appear to be only distantly related. Probably not closely related to other members of genus, although race orientalis has hybridized with nominate race of E. richardsoni in E Ecuador. Original naming of species confused, with male described first, and on next page female named as “Micropogon Hartlaubii”. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. b. salvini (Shelley, 1891) – Costa Rica and W Panama.
  • E. b. anomalus Griscom, 1929 – E Panama (around Cerro Pirre, Cerro Tacarcuna); probably also adjacent NW Colombia.
  • E. b. bourcierii (Lafresnaye, 1845) – Andes of W Venezuela disjunctly S to C Colombia (E side of C Andes, slopes of E Andes).
  • E. b. occidentalis Chapman, 1914 – slopes of W Andes in Colombia.
  • E. b. aequatorialis (Salvadori & Festa, 1900) – W Ecuador on W Andean slope and in coastal mountains.
  • E. b. orientalis Chapman, 1914 – E Andean slope of Ecuador, and N Peru (Cajamarca, Amazonas).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 16 cm; 30–45 g. Small, pale-billed, multicoloured green barbet. Male nominate race with black around base of bill, red head and neck, narrow whitish nape band, green... read more


    Short, fast trill song “pooodd­ddddrrrrrr”, notes c. 27 per second, for c. 2... read more


    Primary forest in undergrowth, about trails and clearings, ranging into thickets and secondary... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits, berries of Micronia, Myrica, Ocotea and others; at feeders and in captivity, melons, tomatoes, apples,... read more


    Mar–Jul from Middle America S to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; Dec–Apr in Venezuela. Singing male fluffed head and neck feathers... read more


    Some downslope post-breeding movement noted in Costa Rica and Panama, probably occurs also in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Often local; fairly common in Colombia; uncommon to fairly common in Ecuador; rare and local in Peru. Since this species is inconspicuous, often... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2018). Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii). 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 23 March 2018).