Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Western Yellow-billed Barbet (Trachylaemus goffinii)


French: Barbican de Goffin German: Gelbbauch-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo piquigualdo occidental

Capito goffinii


, 1863,



Hitherto considered conspecific with T. togoensis and T. purpuratus. Differs from former in its purple vs red supercilium and cheeks, not extending onto neck side (2), pinkish-white stippling vs bright pinkish-white (black-centred) streaking on breast (3), no red along bottom edge of dark breast-line (2), and blackish-blue vs blackish-green gloss on hindcrown to mantle (ns[1]); differs from latter in its grey vs yellow around eye (3), brighter red on forecrown (ns[1]), all-yellow vs yellow-spotted black belly and flanks (3), pinkish-white stippling vs long pinky-silvery streaking on breast (2), and no red along bottom edge of dark breast-line (ns[2]). Monotypic.


Sierra Leone E to Ghana–Togo border.

Descriptive notes

23–24 cm; 82–83 g. A striking black, red, yellow and white barbet, with pinkish-white stippled throat, deep yellow bill, black orbital skin, deep red to orange-red or red-... read more


Song very like that of T. purpuratus (which see, and T. togoensis), but rate of... read more


Lowland and lower montane forest in understorey, especially in treefall gaps and ecotone between... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes arthropods and gastropods; and fruits such as Canthium sp. and Morinda lucida, and in Sierra Leone... read more


Season Oct–Mar in Ghana and Liberia, with singing reaching maximum in E Liberia in Sept–Nov. Nothing else known, but most aspects of... read more


Resident, and sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Population size unquantified, but inhabits large range estimated at 454,000 km². Densities of up to five pairs/km² in Liberia. Not uncommon in Sierra... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Western Yellow-billed Barbet (Trachylaemus goffinii). 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 19 February 2019).