Prong-billed Barbet Semnornis frantzii

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Semnornithidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Brandon Buckio

The Prong-billed Barbet is in a genus, Semnornis, that recently has been elevated to the rank of a family, Semnornithidae. The Prong-billed Barbet is restricted to the moss and epiphyte-laden cloud-forest along the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica and western Panama. Unlike most of the other New World barbets, it has a rather uniform dull tawny brown plumage throughout, with a heavy gray bill, and red eye. Males have a tuft of elongated, black, stiff feathers on the nape. It is found in pairs or small groups (sometimes of a dozen or more) that often forage together. This species feeds mainly on fruit, but sometimes takes insects. The call a loud resonating cackle of “haw” notes, often given as a duet with others from the canopy. Like other species of barbets and toucans, the Prong-billed Barbet roosts and nests in cavities of trees.


© Ted Parker

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Buckio, B. (2011). Prong-billed Barbet (Semnornis frantzii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.