Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

White-faced Barbet (Pogonornis macclounii)


French: Barbican de MacClounie German: Weißgesicht-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo frentirrojo oriental
Other common names: MacClounie's Barbet

Melanobucco macclounii


, 1899,

Luchinde, north-west of Lake Malawi, Zambia


Usually considered conspecific with P. minor. Differs from latter in its white vs mouse-brown cheeks, ear-coverts, supercilium and scapular line to back (3); black vs mouse-brown lores and malar tufts (2); and black vs mouse-brown mid-crown to mantle (2); also, shares broad hybrid zone with minor (1) over a considerable area (SW DRCongo to NC Angola), resulting form sometimes referred to as intercedens. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

NE Angola, SC DRCongo, S Burundi and W & C#R Tanzania S to N & W Zambia and NW Malawi.

Descriptive notes

19–21 cm; 40–50 g. Long-tailed, mainly black-and-white barbet, with red forecrown, distinct white “V” on otherwise black upperparts and apricot-pink flush to belly; bill... read more


Song of trilled buzzy notes at c. 26 per second, 1–3 seconds long, rendered “nyeh-a-aaaaaaaaaaaaa”... read more


Woodland (including miombo), gardens and open places with scattered trees and plantations, edges of... read more

Food and feeding

Diet little known: fruits (e.g. figs), berries, their seeds, also palm-nut fibres; and various flying insects and larvae, such as inchworms... read more


Mainly Sept–Dec (principally Oct in Zambia), but possibly as early as Jul in Malawi. Nests in pairs or trios. Tail-flitting, swinging of... read more


Resident and generally sedentary, although local wandering to lower elevations (down to 680 m) is... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. No overall population estimate, but the species has a large range (estimated at 1,660,000 km²) and is suspected to be stable in the absence of... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). White-faced Barbet (Pogonornis macclounii). 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 16 February 2019).