Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-breasted Barbet (Trachyphonus margaritatus)


French: Barbican perlé German: Perlenbartvogel Spanish: Barbudo perlado

Bucco margaritatus


, 1828,

Sennar, south-east Sudan


Closely related to and in the past sometimes considered conspecific with T. erythrocephalus (which see). Validity of subdivision into races perhaps questionable; also, NE Sudan birds, described as race kingi, and those from C Sudan, as berberensis, both considered indistinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. margaritatus (Cretzschmar, 1826) – SE Mauritania E to Chad, N Nigeria, N Cameroon, C & NE Sudan, Eritrea and N Ethiopia#R.
  • T. m. somalicus Zedlitz, 1910 – E Ethiopia and Djibouti to N Somalia.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 21 cm; 44–64 g. Male of nominate race patterned yellow, red, white and black (fades to brown); short crest, black cap, yellow on head with some orange, white mark... read more


    Very like that of T. erythrocephalus, with duet “tew-choo-to,-” similar, songs... read more


    Rough terrain such as along streams or wadis, in sandy Acacia wooded grassland, in hilly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous: eats berries and fruits such as figs and Salvadora persica, and centipedes, grasshoppers, locusts, mantids, beetles... read more


    May–Jun in all areas; also Mar and Aug–Oct in Niger, Feb–Jun in Chad, to Jul in Sudan, Feb–Nov in Ethiopia, also... read more


    Largely resident, and sedentary; probably wanders somewhat at times.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon, but widespread. Considerable variety of habitats used suggest that species is secure for present. Occurs in several protected areas, e.g.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2017). Yellow-breasted Barbet (Trachyphonus margaritatus). 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 15 December 2017).